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Directed by Wim Wenders

West Germany 1985 92 mins.

Seeking to recover the past from the tide of time, Wenders travels to Tokyo in order to find traces of the cinema of famed Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu within the modern-day metropolis. Lacing his film with “pillow shots” in the style of Ozu and featuring profoundly moving interviews with Ozu collaborators Chishu Ryu and Yûharu Atsuta, Wenders’ film becomes a lament for Ozu’s Tokyo, contrasting the cinema of his idol with images of neon pachinko parlors, bullet trains, and high-rise office towers. Wenders’ film becomes a portrait not only of one of cinema’s most singular artists but also of a city ready to unceremoniously usher in the postmodern era. “If there were still sanctuaries in our century . . . if there was something like a ‘holy treasure of cinema,’ for me, that would be the work of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. Ozu’s work doesn’t need my appraisal. And such a ‘holy treasure of cinema’ is just imaginary. So my journey to Tokyo was no pilgrimage. I was curious to see if I could discover something from this time, whether something was left of his work, images perhaps, or people even . . . Or if in the twenty years since Ozu’s death so much changed in Tokyo that there was nothing left to be found.”—Wim Wenders.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.