Film Critique: "Early Summer" - Ozu's Personalized Techniques Directed by Yasujiro Ozu

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Yasujiro Ozu is one of Japan's most infamous, and talented filmmakers of all time. In a career that spanned thirty five years, Ozu created around thirty-six films, all which contributed in elevating his genre into the realms of high art. To the general viewer his work is still considered to be slow moving, high brow and lacking the commercial potential of other directors from his period such as Akira Kurosawa or Kenji Mizoguchi (Arnold et al., 2003), but his films project a raw, artistic subtlety that is rarely matched. His specialty is concentrating his plots around Japanese families, showing how they function, change and evolve as a collectivist unit. He has been called and labeled as "the most Japanese of all directors" (Schrader, 1972) for his unique portrayal of Japanese customs, situations, family units, arrangements and their confliction, all which have left an influential mark on Japanese cinema.

'Early Summer', is a film by Ozu that portrays the stress and conflict that arises from a Japanese family as a unit.

It takes place in post war Japan, an era in time already struggling with shifting cultural changes. It tells primarily about Noriko, an unmarried 28 year old secretary, whose brother, parents, friends, neighbors and boss all help her seek out a potential husband. Noriko, however decides to curve her own way in life and seeks out a husband on her own. She picks out Yabe, a widower with a child who is also her older brother's assistant, and her dead brother's friend. Noriko's decision to marry a widower, and also a close friend of her deceased brother (Shoji in WWII), causes her to be labeled an 'impudent' woman, the sort that her older brother Koichi constantly complains about, having found them too common since the war. She in...