Yasujiro Ozu is, without a single doubt in my mind, in the top five directors of all time. Possibly the second best after my personal favourite Akira Kurosawa. Many may credit my preference due to the fact that Kurosawa was considered as the most Western of all Japanese directors. However Ozu came from the same time and his films are very different but just as good. Ozu's films have the most simple of plots, in that they do not have a strict or interesting storyline. This can sometimes lead to extremely complex situations as Ozu focuses on the trials of Japanese family life. If you are looking for films about real life, and real people, then look no further than Ozu. Like other Ozu films there are arranged marriages, and relationships that cross through all generations. A father is distracted from troubling finance issues by a recently rekindled affair from nineteen years previously. The film is very subtle in its extraction of emotions, Ozu's trademark of not moving the camera once, with completely still shots. Ozu also doesn't use flashbacks, resulting in people simply talking and describing the past. The editing is restrained to simple straight cuts, and no fancy transitions are used. It is this simplicity that some may find boring, or a lack of pacing. For me however it is great to see a master of the craft not give in to unnecessary techniques when the acting and slightly faded picturesque cinematography does all the talking. Dialogue between characters is both intriguing and thought provoking. The final funeral scenes really do demonstrate the beauty of Ozu's films, when we see a couple of complete strangers talk about the recent passing, as we are then treated to a magnificent shot of the funeral procession walking down a bridge. Like 'Tokyo Story' and 'Early Summer', 'The End of Summer' is a thoughtful and delicate piece of work, and also a fine example of Ozu's rare use of colour.
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Approaching his senior years, widowed Manbei Kohayagawa is the owner of a small family run sake brewery in Kyoto. Hisao, his daughter Fumiko's husband, works for the company. Another daughter, Osaka based Akiko, who works at an art gallery, is widowed, her deceased husband who decided not to work in the family business, but maintain his own career as a college professor. Kohayagawa's third and last daughter, Noriko, a clerk in an office, has never been married, but is now of marrying age. Because the business is not doing well as it cannot compete with the larger sake companies, Kohayagawa wants to ensure that all his daughters are taken care of financially, which means finding husbands for both Akiko and Noriko, that task which is aided by Kohayagawa's younger brother-in-law, Yanosuke Kitagawa. Akiko and Noriko know about the arrangements with the potential husbands - although Akiko's first "date" is more of a surprise to her - and generally go along with the dates as are requested of them, but neither is sure if it is what she is looking for for herself. Akiko is quite content with her current lot in life, taking care of her growing son, Minoru. And Noriko has only confided in Akiko that she has a close friendship with a man named Tadashi Teramoto, a teacher who has just moved to Sapporo indefinitely for work. Kohayagawa's want for his daughters may also be because he has rediscovered companionship in his own life, with a former mistress, Sasaki Tsune, who he accidentally ran into after not seeing her for nineteen years. Sasaki has told him that her twenty-one year old daughter, spoiled Yuriko Tsune, is his biological daughter, something he believes, although Sasaki doesn't really know or care, as doesn't Yuriko, especially if they can get out of him what they want. Kohayagawa's family does not know of Sasaki currently in his life, but they do know of his marital indiscretion previously with her and do suspect that his "business meetings" which are ruses to meet with her are not what he says they are. Something that happens to Kohayagawa leads to Akiko and Noriko coming to some decisions about their own lives.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 15, 2022 at 09:15 PM