Well, a thread with the 3 best Ozu (that i've seen anyway) and Mizo's peak!
Sansho: the use of sounds and music has a marvellous haunting quality, never for cheap effect that's for sure. Actually, Mizo had many dozens of films behind him by 54. For me, his most moving film, so wpqx view disappointing. Can a film with such a feeling for beauty, humane values, spiritual depth really be as pessimistic as you suggest? Like Tarkovsky, i think there's more an acceptance that there's more to life than simple happiness (so many corny Hollywood/crowd-pleasing endings!). And a reunion with mother- blind or not- is quite a compensation, especially given the importance of separation + longing throughout. I'm sure Mizo himself would have loved such a reunion with his own mother who died when in his teens. Note Tamaki does miss Anju- not just joy at finding Zushio. Perhaps a personal element again with Mizo, as he hd such high regard for his sister. Is Tamaki's blindness really manipulative, laying on suffering too thick, or a means to deeper connections, emotional depth beyond the merely visual (recognition)? Sparing use of close ups in Mizo's later years, but he was now more comfortable for occasional power, than he'd once been. His films are known for their graceful camerawork/ spatial exploration but again the moving camera had its purpose, he knew when stillness was crucial (Anju's death). Back to the level of pessimism; from my own perspective, a maternal reunion, under almost any cirumstances, would come pretty well top of the wishlist- so, as with all films, reactions are bound to be subjective! Oh, and not forgetting the overthrow of tyranny (revolution as well as Buddhist acceptance in the film!) and the redemption of Zushio's character. Pessimism? Nah!