Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
The great actress and Ozu regular Setsuko Hara plays a mother gently trying to persuade her daughter to marry in this glowing portrait of family love and conflict—a reworking of Ozu’s 1949 masterpiece Late Spring.
In this world, people love to complicate the simplest matters. Things may appear complicated, but who knows, the essence of life may be unexpectedly simple. That's what I aimed to express. - Yasujirō Ozu
Is there anything better than Ozu in color? It does more justice to the seasons specified by the title, at least those in English. And watching a film called Late Autumn only feels appropriate for this time of the year in N. America.
The mood of the film however isn't entirely austere, though the film slowly but surely veers in that direction. It revisits the premise of Late Spring, one of Ozu's best known films. But instead of a father being concerned about a marriage-age daughter,…
I'm feeling lazy, so here's my two word review:
Coming to Ozu now feels like coming to an old friend. And seeing his actors and actresses, like seeing old friends. When I saw Chishu Ryu, I couldn't help it -- tears came. The final expression on Setsuko Hara's face is sublime. Quiet and tentative, it is such a fitting, triumphant look. It sends me all the way back to Chishu Ryu peeling his apple in Late Spring. I felt suddenly cast back. I remember how deeply I wept at that moment. How it has stuck with me for so long. The subtlest, quietest movement signalling the deepest, profoundest emotions. I think that is when I truly fell in love with Ozu. And so I unfold…
The more Ozu films I watch the more I realize how different they actually are from one another in terms of content. Sure they contain a few recurring themes and motifs, but each film offers a unique set of relationships and values.
The main story recalls Late Spring, but here it is the mother who tries to get her daughter married, as opposed to the father. And there are many more prominent characters here, namely the three middle-aged friends of the deceased husband/father and the daughter's workplace friend who importance grows during the duration of the film.
What a remarkable cast! Setsuko Hara is sublime as always; no one could suggest a hidden sorrow better than her without being expressive.…
The laughter of the old men as they discuss how much fun they had arranging (ineptly) a marriage rings coldly as they sit, all camaraderie, without any awareness of the hurt they've caused. As a portrait of the cracks in traditional structures, this film is a fitting mirror image to Late Spring. The film captures the masculine presumptiveness that drives the men to get involved in relationships they don't need to be involved with, and the feminine frustrations of a life without a man in a patriarchal society. While I think Ozu's compassion is evident, I believe his focus is broader than merely the divide between men and women; he is exploring tradition (as always) and its complex affect on…
You know, I just love how Ozu centers his films around every day life. Whether it's visiting friends, going out for lunch, discussing marital issues, trying to get someone married. This movie really engaged me.
I've only seen a handful of Ozu's films, but it seems the humor has only gotten stronger here than in his earlier films. The humor is almost crucial to the plot. How we have these three men trying to get Hara's daughter married, yet they also try to get Hara herself married. During this, it comes out that they all seem to fancy Hara.
The actors are all brilliant. Once again, we get a strong performance from Setsuko Hara (who has one of the most…
I'm feeling lazy, so here's my two word review:
Another beautiful and insightful film from Ozu. Late Autumn is a bit more comedic than previous films but the power struggle between men and women, and tradition and modernization in a changing Japan is serious. The acting is excellent and the color cinematography is masterful.
Late Autumn is without a doubt one of Ozu's most charming pictures filled with some of the most unforgettable characters and performances ever seen in Ozu's films; Setsuko Hara now where Chishû Ryû was at the end of the 40s; Yôko Tsukasa as her stubborn, bit out of place "next generation daughter"; Shin Saburi, Nobuo Nakamura and Ryûji Kita as three comical old men still head in their old days; and then of course the most unforgettable character in the whole film, Mariko Okada as peppery Yuriko who is most clearly the child of the generation she belongs to. When these lively characters clash, a film that tastes exactly like life is born.
Many of Ozu's regular themes can be…
I was under the impression that women in Ozu movies weren't very strong. That the male world in which they existed engulfed them. That isn't quite the case, I must say. And since Ozu movies are known to be variations on a theme, I expect to encounter the same. Both of the young women in the film are quite independent, especially Yuriko, played by Mariko Okada. I was pleasantly surprised to witness such a character. She's almost a proto-feminist in her ideals ("Marriage is the worst," she says at one point). I wish there was more of her in the movie. At one point she even scolds the elderly male characters in the movie for their duplicitous ways. And then…
It's the old story. A widowed parent tries to get a reluctant daughter married. This time, though, Setsuko Hara trades places with Chisu Ryo as the parent in question. Three of her late husband's school chums help her out but they are as interested in the beautiful mother as in the daughter. It's on the comic side of Ozu's work and it is just amazing how he keeps the same story fresh and alive in film after film.
Sally gets it. Furthering her point, Ozu seems to use color in order to comment on its absence: there's something red in almost every shot, but the characters hardly ever interact with it, living a life of not very bright moments either because you're playing around with other's lives or because your life has been played with. In fact, the conflict of the entire film feels somewhat pointless: there's a conversation early on where the three men talk about how they used to court Setsuko Hara's character and if they prefer her or her daughter. Time and time again their stances are brought up, and it's mighty hard to recall which one said what. This is a very uneventful, very peaceful situation, and the fact that it is disturbed by outsiders this unengaged makes its tragedy particurlaly so.
No director was better at conveying emotional and relational nuance than Yasujiro Ozu. This late effort follows a familiar theme: that of grown children living with a widowed parent and the need to continue on. The difference here being that the parent is a widow rather than widower and those well intentioned busy bodies who hope to aid the duo (mother and daughter) seem to be as interested in the mother as they are in finding a husband for the daughter. A beautiful, poignant film about the bittersweet inevitability of change.
Ozu's color is so incredibly perfect in this film.
As is everything else.
Everything I know about Japanese architecture I learned from Yasujirō Ozu.
Another year, another update. 2012 List can be found here.
The following is a really extensive and great list of…