Friday, September 23, 2016

Late Spring/Early Summer

Before the poignant and sorrowful Tokyo Story, Ozu's first two entries a series of family centered dramas dubbed the Noriko trilogy (in reference to the same named though separate characters portrayed by Setsuko Hara) take a strikingly similar set-up viewed from a different angle:

Late Spring tells of father's sometimes duplicitous efforts to marry off his doting near 30 year old daughter (Hara) against her wishes, and is told in the beloved director's usual contemplative, subtle manner while featuring fine performances and an incredible, low key ending. Many subtle reference depicting the westernization of Japanese culture are fascinating

In Early Summer, Hara again finds her family playing matchmaker, but instead goes out a stubborn, independent limb by favoring a recently reacquainted childhood sweetheart who does not match up to the family's standards of marriage. Filmed in beautiful greyscale, the film is sweet natured, observant, and extremely measured

Late Spring: *** 1/2 out of ****
Early Summer: *** out of ****