Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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FilmSnob
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Re: Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu

#301 Post by FilmSnob » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:46 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:54 pm
I think Early Spring is a bit long. But I don't think much could (if anything) be shaved off.
I like your quote MK because I think Ozu intended the exhaustive length (as you said, there's nothing to cut out). There's uncertain hope at the end of the film, but would the shades of tired resignation really ring true in a neat little concise 1 hour 45 minute movie? I think not.

Early Spring may not have Setsuko Hara, but Ryo Ikebe and Chikage Awashima were outstanding, and the film is every bit the equal of Late Spring, Early Summer, and Tokyo Story imo. Truly one of the greatest films ever made.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu

#302 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:42 am

I wonder if Early Spring was not one of the earliest films to criticize Japan's post-war (big city) business culture harshly -- the whole phenomenon of middle-class men basically having to devote virtually all their time to work-related activities (to the near-complete neglect of family). Chishu Ryu offers an interesting counterpoint, rejecting that system, happily accepting relegation to "the sticks" -- where he could do useful work but could balance this with being involved with his wife and children (and probably neighbors, etc.).

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Re: Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu

#303 Post by FilmSnob » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:47 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 pm
There is humor in Early Spring, but much of it tends to sting a bit.
The scene at the bar near the end is one of the funniest -- and grimmest -- scenes in all of Ozu, yet it's only the third best scene in the last 15 minutes of the movie. There's comedic music playing in the background (a rarity for Ozu) while Eijirō Tōno drones on about his disillusionment with salaryman life after 31 years. "Life is just an empty dream". Most people would just find this scene maudlin, but I'm sure Ozu found it comedic, judging by the music and Eijirō Tōno's delivery. I chuckle quite a few times through that scene, and yet everything he says is true -- it's a dark kind of humor. Even Ryo Ikebe starts tuning him out after a moment or two. Watch closely and you'll notice Sugi looks at the old man when he starts talking, but once the conversation goes in a direction that isn't exactly a good omen for his future, Sugi doesn't look at him again, just keeps his head down in his drink, smoking his cigarette, looking ahead, occasionally glancing in So Yamamura's direction, even though Ozu doesn't cut to a close-up of him for another five minutes. Lots of great details like that in all Ozu scenes.

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Re: Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu

#304 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:13 pm

Ozu was definitely an expert at devising scenes that were funny and sad at the same time.

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