Late Spring DVD+Blu-ray
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Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Produced in 1949
Main Language - Japanese with English subtitles
Ozu’s first film in the ‘Noriko trilogy’ is a tender and brilliant meditation on family politics, sacrifice and the status quo. Enhancing the DVD’s is Ozu’s first sound film, The Only Son. Mike Bartlett explains why Late Spring is his favourite film.
The first film of Ozu's mature period, Late Spring is a beautiful and deeply moving portrait of two people whose special bond is torn apart by social pressure and mutual misunderstanding.
Professor Sumiya is an elderly widower living with his only daughter, Noriko, who has been ill for some time after voluntary work during the War. Now she's 28 and the wider family are concerned that she should be married. Sumiya feels guilty and agrees to arranging a match for her. But Noriko feels rejected and a growing divide opens up between them.
How to recommend one's favourite film – one that this writer feels is even superior to Tokyo Story? Suffice to say that it is a brilliant psychological examination of people loving each other at cross purposes and the loneliness that comes as a result. Ozu's formally rigorous style reaches its peak of expression in a series of simple but devastating shots – most famously, an urn caught in the moonlight as Noriko spends her last night with her father and she weeps silently beside him.
On the same disc, the BFI have included Ozu's 1936 film, The Only Son, crucial in his development as a director because it saw him using sound for the first time. It's also one of Ozu's most tragic and moving stories, that of a mother who forsakes everything for the sake of her boy's education only to see him grow into a failure. Ozu lays bare the poverty and hopelessness facing many families in Tokyo at that time, and the scene where the son confronts his mother with the truth as they sit in a desolate industrial wasteland is among the finest things he ever achieved.
Ozu's classic Late Spring, the first in the famed Noriko trilogy, centres on a liberal father struggling to come to terms with the need to marry off his daughter, and is a tender meditation on family politics, sacrifice and the status quo.
Noriko (Setsuko Hara) and her father, Professor Somiya (Chishu Ryu) live together in harmony, but old certainties are put at risk when an interfering aunt raises the question of marriage. Introducing Ozu's popular Noriko character, Late Spring poignantly examines the gradual compromise between modernity and tradition.
Also features the full length feature The Only Son, Ozu's first sound film.
Length: 108 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Cat No: BFIB1068
Format: DVD+Blu-ray B&W
- 2 disc combo pack including both DVD & Blu-ray
- Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Late Spring and The Only Son (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essay by James Bell and Ozu biography by Tony Rayns
- New and improved English subtitles.