|Chishû Ryû on left|
I knew what they were talking about. And there was a scene where Chishû Ryû, who played the father in Tokyo Story (and also appeared in 52 out of the 54 films Ozu made!) went to Ozu's (anonymous) grave and poured water over the gravestone. I'm not sure what this signifies in Japanese culture, but the doing of it turned up again in Still Walking, twice.
Incidentally Ryû was only 49 when he played the old man in his late sixties in Tokyo Story. Apparently it wasn't uncommon for Ozu to use him to play men of a variety of ages. The interview with Ryû in Wenders' documentary is perhaps the most interesting thing in it; at least, it was the most interesting thing in the section I actually saw. Ryû came across as a surprisingly humble actor, a man who'd understood Ozu to be his mentor throughout his career (even though there was only a year difference in their ages), and whom he trusted implicitly. If Ozu said he wanted a scene played this way, Ryû would play it that way. He didn't ask questions about motivation or backstory, he just got on and did as he was told, and the result was always effective. Ozu seldom did many takes on a scene; he knew exactly what he wanted (he would even attend to the details of the set and the actors' clothing until they were to his satisfaction), and, somewhat like Hitchcock, he had the movie planned in his head long before filming actually began. What he 'saw' is what appeared on the screen. Nevertheless, for one scene in which Ryû appeared, he remembered that they had around twenty rehearsals, and some twenty takes. Ozu commented at the end that Ryû didn't seem to be quite on form that day, but it was said as a matter of fact rather than as a criticism. Ryû remarked in the interview that he wasn't that great an actor; he had none of Ozu's intellectual capacity.
So, yes, occasionally an 'extras' disk does have something of real value in it! All right, I eat my words.