Early Summer

October 21st, 2010

I loved this movie. The director Yasujiro Ozu does a remarkable job in placing the audience with the Mamiya family. The director was known to be someone who believes in eliciting the emotions of the audience without unnecessary drama and it is clear from seeing the movie how he applies his ideals into the making of the movie. Coming to Japenese cinema I was hoping to see a samurai action movie because I know Japenese Cinema from that perspective, but coming to class I was surprised and shocked that we would be watching this movie which not only has no action but ALSO has no drama!

Well I am glad we watched this. Throughout the movie I felt anxious as to what would happen to Noriko. Seeing her we know that she is a good, kind, loving women who isn’t married but is being encouraged by everyone around her to get married. I almost felt like her brother hoping and praying that she gets married to the right person! The director is the person to blame for setting forth this inexplicable emotion. We grow to love and care about the family and we feel like we are with them. The main reason I believe that this is the case is because of the unique camera placement. The cameras in the movie are never moving, they are always in plane with the characters and don’t attempt any sort of movement in an in order to create drama as opposed to the other movies we have watched so far that have amazing camera effects and shooting angles.

The lack of drama is really evident in the ending when the much anticipated wedding occurs, but we are clearly not invited to it as the scene is skipped altogether, which I found a bit dissapointing. I was hoping to see the family happy one last time before they split up, but this was not the case. The scene skips to Noriko’s parents having moved in with the elder uncle and they see a married couple passing by an remember their daughter.

 Now jumping to antoher topic, historical references. There were several interesing historical references in this movie which referred to the time period in which this movie was made. One was obviously the war, which was mentioned in a very subtle manner, as I guess the American army did not want any harsh feeling of the Japenese towards them. Another prominent reference was of the changing role of women in society. Whereas previously women were mainly housewives who placed all trust on prominent male figure in the house either he be  father, brother or husband. Here we see that women are slowly gaining equal rights as they now work outside ( Noriko for example) and also demand more rights. This is seen when Noriko is having dinner with her friend and they have an arguement regarding etiquette towards women and how the term’s meaning has changed from the time of the war.

Anyways sorry for jumping around from one topic to another, so many things to say so little time. Saio nara(Bye)!

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One Response to “Early Summer”

  1. manveer on October 21, 2010 11:24 pm

    Yes! I’m not the only person who thought that the movie we would be watching would be an full-on action film. I was also shocked when I saw how “plain” this movie was, I was expecting some karate moves because in the present thats what Japanese films or more likely films with Japanese characters are based on. Usually in those films, the camera is all over the place, you have characters flying around and the cameras would fly as well. Here you have this movie where the camera just sits on the floor but coincidently the characters sit on the floor most of the time as well.

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