For the 22nd week of the Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. We go into films with seasons in their titles as a season would often be a major part of the film’s story. Here are my three picks as they’re all films by Yasujiro Ozu:
1. Late Spring Ozu’s adaptation of the novella Father and Daughter by Kazuo Hirotsu is an exploration of a man trying to find a husband for his daughter in the hopes she can get a life of her own. The film follows many of Ozu’s explorations of families and their struggles in adapting to the modern world as the star frequent Ozu regulars in Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara in their respective roles as father and daughter as the former is a widow who is trying to get a life of his own while also wanting the same for his daughter despite her reluctance to leave him all by himself.
2. Early Summer Ozu’s film about postwar life in Japan explores a family trying to find someone for their daughter who is the representation of someone being caught in the middle between traditionalism and modernism. Again played by Setsuko Hara with Chishu Ryu as her older brother as Ichiro Sugai and Chieko Higashiyama as the parents. It also play into this postwar world of Japan that is growing economically with women becoming more independent yet are struggling to maintain some tradition with some Hara’s friends in the film already in unhappy marriages which adds to her own internal conflict.
3. Late Autumn Another Ozu film starring Setsuko Hara that is also about a young woman struggling to leave a parent behind for a life of her own is a different film which is more about a mother-daughter relationship with Hara as the mother and Yoko Tsukasa as the daughter as well as being one of Ozu’s first films shot in color. The narrative revolves more on these three old men who are friends of Hara’s late husband as the narrative also focuses more on Hara trying to help her daughter while also knowing that children have to leave the nest no matter how tough things can be as it’s one of Ozu’s great films.
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