Early Summer

Early Summer

Downloadable Video - 1951
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In postwar Tokyo, this household is loving and serene: older parents, their 28-year-old daughter Noriko, their married son, his devoted wife, and two rascally sons. Their only discontent is Noriko's lack of a husband. Society is changing: she works, she has women friends who tease and argue, her brother sees her independence as impudence, she sees it as normal. When her boss suggests that she marry a 40-year-old bachelor who is his friend, all the members of her family press her to accept. Without seeking their advice, and to their chagrin, Noriko determines her own course of action.
Publisher: [Japan]: , Films sans frontières (Firm) [distridutor], , [1951]
Copyright Date: ©1951
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (1 hr. 59 min. 42 sec.)) : sound, color
Alternative Title: Also released as: Bakushu

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Nursebob
Dec 12, 2014

Another wry exploration of Japan’s post WWII generation gap which saw children respectfully rebelling against their parents’ traditional values. This time around twenty-eight year old Noriko’s family are determined to see her marry their bachelor of choice; but the headstrong young woman has romantic ideas of her own. Supported by her liberated friend (they both wear western fashions, hold down jobs, and believe in female assertiveness) she resists the allure of conformity and decides to follow her own heart much to the consternation, and eventual illumination, of her mom and dad. Brilliant images of soaring balloons and waving kites are tempered by a few happily caged birds and scenes of everyday domesticity while Ozu’s signature use of trains, smoke, and a restless ocean gently underscore the fact that life is what it is and every decision comes at a cost. Meanwhile, the skewed priorities of Noriko’s two bratty nephews remind us all that a sense of humour is indispensable if we are to weather all those slings and arrows. The zen-like cinematography is serene and the opening/closing choral pieces are piercingly beautiful.

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ms_mustard
Feb 13, 2012

One of my favorite Ozu films - more humor that in most of them.

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