Reviews

The Ozu Collection

5

An object lesson in `less is more', the late films of Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu create a universe where intense emotions are contained in a framework of Zen-like stillness. The camera barely moves, often contemplating a scene from a fixed, low angle - roughly the height of a person squatting on a tatami mat. Behaviour is restrained, voices are rarely raised, people politely avoid confrontation - but beneath this formal surface, tragedy is building and lives are being torn apart.

In Late Spring (1949), a widowed father pushes his devoted daughter away from him by pretending he plans to remarry, determined to see her settled with a husband even if it means his own loneliness. Early Summer (1951) again involves a woman's marriage, this time entailing the financial ruin and unravelling of a close-knit family. Often voted one of the greatest films ever made, Tokyo Story (1953) is a poignant meditation on the disappointments of ageing and death. An old couple visiting their children and grandchildren find they have become an irrelevance, and only their widowed daughter-in-law shows them kindness. The delicate, quiet compassion of Ozu's filming is breathtaking in its purity.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: January 1st 2005

Most Popular