OZU’S YOUTH, BORZAGE’S HEAVEN

Before assuming his signature style—restrained domestic dramas shot with an often stationary camera set just below waist level—Yasujiro Ozu had a rich silent period made up of comedies, gangster films, and stories of Japanese family life in the twenties and thirties.

This weekend, as part of their series Hollywood and Holy Wood: Silent Connections Between Los Angeles and Japan, the UCLA Film and Television Archive presents a rare 35mm screening of Ozu’s earliest known surviving feature, the silent DAYS OF YOUTH (1929), featuring Ichirô Yûki and Tatsuo Saitô as two college students in love with the same young woman (Junko Matsui).

Cliff Retallick will provide live musical accompaniment.

Also on the bill is the earlier Hollywood production that inspired Ozu’s film—Frank Borzage‘s 7TH HEAVEN (1927), set in Paris. Starring Janet Gaynor (as a reluctant fille de joie) and Charles Farrell (playing a sewer worker who goes off to the Great War), it conveys the soft-focus sense of enchantment so typical of its director’s masterpieces.

DAYS OF YOUTH and 7TH HEAVEN

Saturday, April 15 at 7:30.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.

From top: Ichirô Yûki and Tatsuo Saitô in Days of Youth (2, with 7th Heaven poster in second photo); Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in 7th Heaven (2). Images courtesy Photofest/Museum of the Moving Image.

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