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The End of Summer
The Kohayakawa family is thrown into distress when childlike father Manbei takes up with his old mistress, in one of Ozu’s most deftly modulated blendings of comedy and tragedy.
The End of Summer is about Manbei Kohayagawa (Ganjiro Nakamura), the head of a small sake brewery company in Kyoto. The elder of his two daughters, Fumiko (Michiyo Aratama), lives with him. Her husband, Hisao (Keiju Kobayashi) helps at the brewery. His youngest daughter, Noriko (Yoko Tsukasa), and his widowed daughter-in-law, Akiko (Setsuko Hara), live in Osaka. The biggest plot point in End of Summer involves them getting married.
Similar to Ozu's Good Morning, this film is quite funny, and not always subtly so. Both films contain their share of low-brow humor. In The End of Summer, it mostly involve Manbei who, despite his age, is hardly a sensitive and gentle soul. In fact, he's very much like his grandchildren…
One of the three postwar films Yasujirô Ozu made at a studio other than Shochiku, The End of Summer does contain a few unique elements.
First and foremost, there's the casting: while there are a few Ozu regulars in the movie, it also features Toho mainstays such as Michiyo Aratama, Keiju Kobayashi, and the irrepressible Reiko Dan, who is perfectly believable as someone who would go out on a date, with a gaijin no less, while her (possible) father is lying dead on the floor (this film generally offers a great blend of comedy and pathos). One could also add Yôko Tsukasa to the list, who appeared earlier in Ozu's Late Autumn, one of her rare forays outside the studio.…
I love when all the little details of a film come together. Here, we have the main character whose profession is a sake brewer. We have Setsuko Hara working at an art gallery. Even before I've watched this, those details got me excited. Because I knew we'd get shots of art on the wall and shots inside the brewery (which we do).
This is probably Ozu's most modernized film. I feel for the first time, we've made it to the big city. Sure, almost all his films are set in Tokyo and we get tons of shots of buildings, bars, etc. But here, we have extensive use of neon signs. We also have the first scene take place in a…
I can't believe Akiko (Setsuko Hara) dissed Isomura Eiichirou (Hisaya Morishige). Poor guy. :(
What you would expect from Ozu. Another social family drama from traditional Japan. But what is amazing about Ozu and this film is he can keep on making the same type of movies over and over again but they never appear tiresome and never fail to impress. Ozu is probably one of the few directors incapable of making a bad film, granted I say that with having only seen a third of his repertoire. The End of Summer treads slightly on unique ground compared to his other films as it successfully attempts to blend comedy and tragedy into one film. One may look at this film and his later works such as An Autumn Afternoon made so closely right before…
i wish letterboxd allowed me to review the 1.6 episodes of Deep Space Nine i watc a day, but instead all it lets me review is slowly paced asian cinema, so im forced to watch more
Those familiar with the films of Yasujirō Ozu will likely be startled by the opening shot of The End of Summer. Instead of a typical domestic scene, Ozu’s penultimate film begins by establishing modern Osaka, complete with neon billboards that grapple for one’s attention. A key advertisement reads NEW JAPAN, literally demonstrating the recurrent theme of traditional Japanese culture vs. encroaching modernity. In his late films, Ozu seems to have fully come to terms with the younger generation. That is not to say that he doesn’t have a great affection for the widowed patriarch (Ganjiro Nakamura) of The End of Summer, but the film is about how his children overcome their father’s influence and begin to live their own lives.…
Has one of my most remembered moments in any Ozu movie in about the last seven minutes, then yet after that ends with shots of crows on graves to crescendoing music confirming that it's a death movie.
I had a difficult time getting into the film. There's humor within it, but the narrative never had any grasp on me and I found myself never caring for the characters.
My first encounter with Ozu was in a video essay. Narrator said, the camera almost always didn't move. And it works in TEoS.
I felt more involved in the spaces Ozu presents to us, like a guest, compared to the 16:9 stuff we get today with perhaps too many fancy camera moves. 4:3 is pretty cool.
Performances were great.
Locations were great. Background elements were crucial, planned like a modern manga chapter, but nonetheless so good to see. Two examples:
1) the part when old guy is followed by younger guy, in the background, the passing parasol-ladies keep the streets real (make it look not-deserted)
2) the part when widowed lady (WL) is speaking to another lady (AL) by a…
The fleeting nature of life is explored in Ozu's penultimate film, The End of Summer. Ozu opens up his style ever so slightly to give a powerful depiction of a life near its end still trying to remain relevant and feel alive. The camera never moves but Ozu's cutting makes the film feel bristling with movement and fervour. There are various plot threads that all get their due and Ozu's usual themes concerning modern vs. new, old vs. young, traditional family values vs. ever changing and evolving individualism, are all given their due. This is also the funniest Ozu film I've seen, with many cheeky scenes and flamboyant characters (for Ozu, at least). The film hits a great middle ground between total formalism and tender, "realistic" compassion. 7.5/10
Ozu-San, i believe in his previous life was an Indian. How is it possible that a Japanese director has managed to convey so much that one normally associates with the culture i grew up in..I guess the reason is because of the universality of his themes..He knows the pulse of the common man like no one before and after him. Here he blends comedy and dramatic scenes so wonderfully culminating in a finale full of solitude and remembrance.
A minor Ozu work, The End of Summer is considerably lighter fare than his usual family dramas with its pervasive score, lighthearted comedy, and digs at modern western influences in Japan (this is the first Ozu I've seen with a white person in it). His signature themes are present, the story revolving around a family dealing with generational differences (the older members look to the past while the young look to the future) and a father who's reignited an old flame with his former mistress. The women are subjected to several offers of marriage, arranged "for the sake of the family"; their emancipation is refreshingly progressive. There are missteps (a fart joke in an Ozu film?) and the story isn't as emotionally affecting as his more deliberately dramatic work, but it looks as excellent as any of his other films and boasts a great finale that deals with the fragility of life and makes it all worthwhile.
The widowed patriarch of a brewery owning middle class family is causing consternation among his adult children. Although elderly he regularly sneaks off without explanation, and is displaying far too jovial an attitude to life for some. After secretly following him one day it's revealed he has recently started seeing a mistress from his youth. As he continues his happy liaisons the rest of the family deal with the ordinary day to day issues that life throws up.
This couldn't be more typical of Ozu's late period. Subtle character traits, both positive and negative, are revealed without judgement. Life changing decisions are made without any hullabaloo. Brutal challenges are surmounted with no recourse to high drama. Just quiet yet exquisite observations on the nature of life, family and the passing of time.
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