Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujiro Ozu Quick Links

Film RSS

Passing Fancy Review


Very Good
One of several early silent family comedies by Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu released by the Criterion Collection, Passing Fancy is a delightful little tale with charming performances and lots of prewar Japanese atmosphere to soak in.

Ne'er-do-well single dad Kihachi (Takeshi Sakamoto) hates his boring brewery work and would much rather spend his afternoons drinking sake with Otome (Chouko Lida), the widow who runs the restaurant next door, and his work buddy Jiro (Den Obinata). Kihachi isn't much of a father figure to his impish son Tomio (Tomio Aoki), a smart but wild kid who shows his disrespect for his dad by striking funny Karate Kid martial arts poses in front of him.

Continue reading: Passing Fancy Review

Early Summer Review


Essential
Yasujiro Ozu was still largely unknown to Western audiences when his delicate family drama Early Summer was released in 1951. Since that time, new prints of the film have no doubt been made; still, I imagine that most Americans will never have seen an Early Summer in any format as radiant as the new Criterion DVD release of the film. It matters; Ozu's studied composition and luminous black-and-white cinematography invite adjectives such as "luscious," even as his content refutes the extravagance and sensuality of the term. Criterion's Early Summer is a marvel of contrast, restoring to the screen a full palette of blacks, whites, and grays; a scene such as that near the end in which two women walk the dunes by the sea reveals a visual artist working at the peak of his form. You could lose yourself in such images indefinitely, even if the proceedings offered nothing to hold your mind.

But they do. Early Summer, like many of Ozu's "home dramas," is the story of a family - three generations of it - that struggles to find serenity within the cycle of life that the state of being human embodies. (Ozu's titles often find a metaphorical connection in the cycle of the seasons: Late Spring, Early Autumn, Late Autumn.) The central figure is 28-year-old Noriko, an attractive young single woman who lives with her brother Koichi, his wife Fumiko, their two young boys, and her elderly parents. We also meet her neighbors (a widower her age and his mother), her three girlfriends, a great-uncle who comes for a visit, her employer, and her brother's co-worker. Present in the thoughts of the family, though never pictured, is Noriko's brother Shoji, a soldier who remains unaccounted for from the war.

Continue reading: Early Summer Review

Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujiro Ozu Quick Links

Film RSS

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Album Of The Week: The 30th Anniversary of 'Pretty On The Inside' by Hole

Album Of The Week: The 30th Anniversary of 'Pretty On The Inside' by Hole

Courtney Love went from Faith No More to Pagan Babies before roles in Sid And Nancy and Straight To Hell propelled her forward to form her seminal...

Placebo - Beautiful James Audio

Placebo - Beautiful James Audio

Returning with their first new song in five years, Placebo have just dropped ‘Beautiful James’ as the first taster of their forthcoming album.

Queen Cult: The queer band you’ll fall in love with by 2022

Queen Cult: The queer band you’ll fall in love with by 2022

The Cheshire four-piece unveil a new politically-charged single entitled Show & Tell.

Advertisement
Met Gala 2021: The three pop icons who took our breath away

Met Gala 2021: The three pop icons who took our breath away

Billie, Lil Nas X and Rihanna stole the show at the fashion event.

Zed The Dreamer talks to us about drawing inspiration from William Golding, collaborating with Phoebe Bridgers and signing to 4AD [EXCLUSIVE]

Zed The Dreamer talks to us about drawing inspiration from William Golding, collaborating with Phoebe Bridgers and signing to 4AD [EXCLUSIVE]

Having just celebrated the release of his debut EP, 'The Life and Death of MacKenzie Kane', Portuguese singer-songwriter Zé Pedro Viveiros, aka Zed...

Lil Nas X and more big winners from the 2021 MTV VMAs

Lil Nas X and more big winners from the 2021 MTV VMAs

Here's what you missed at this year's Video Music Awards.

Iron Maiden: Rock music’s biggest literature geeks?

Iron Maiden: Rock music’s biggest literature geeks?

Eleven Iron Maiden tracks inspired by classic works of literature.

Advertisement

Yasujiro Ozu Movies

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews