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Late Spring (The Criterion Collection)
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On the DVDs
Criterion's release of Late Spring contains a few minor flaws in terms of image quality (such as occasional emulsion scratches), but viewers can rest assured that this DVD was mastered from the finest available materials, and the film looks very good considering the conditions of post-war Japan that were typically harsh on films of that period. The "windowbox" framing format accurately preserves the film's original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. There's a new and improved English subtitle translation, and the audio commentary by Richard Peña (an Ozu expert and program director of New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center) emphasizes the literary traditions that inform Ozu's films, in addition to the director's signature fixed-camera, low-angle style. Disc 2 includes Tokyo-ga, the 1985 feature by German director (and avid Ozu admirer) Wim Wenders. It's a tribute to Ozu's Japan, in which Wenders wanders the city searching for remnants of Tokyo as seen in Ozu's films, including interviews with Late Spring actor Chishu Ryu and Ozu's long-time cameraman Yuharu Atsuta. In keeping with Criterion tradition, a 21-page booklet is also included, containing informative essays by critic Michael Atkinson and renowned Japanese-film historian Donald Richie. --Jeff Shannon
- SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES: New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Tokyo-Ga (1985, 92 mins), legendary director Wim Wenders tribute to Yasujiro Ozu
- Commentary by Richard Peña, program director of New Yorks Film Society of Lincoln Center
- 24-page booklet with new essays by critic Michael Atkinson and renowned Japanese-film historian Donald Richie
- New and improved English subtitle translation
Top Customer Reviews
Addendum, September 14, 2014: I was feeling passionate when I originally wrote this review. The white emulsion streak is minimal, upon second, third, and fourth viewing. It's fine.Read more ›
I bought a Code 3 DVD version from Shochiku Home Video and continued watching it while reading Donald Richie's book on Ozu. But the subtitles seemed to be translated poorly and I could tell that a lot of the subtleties were lost. So I was very pleased when Criterion came out with this version in which much greater care was given to the translations.
In the Shochiku version there are no subtitles at all in the famous scene at the Noh play. But Criterion provides a marvelous translation that adds another layer of depth to the experience. As Noriko looks at her father beside her and then at Mrs. Miwa, whom she thinks is going to marry him, her jealousy and hurt are underscored by the performance of the play. In it a chorus of monks recites in verse a woman's feelings for her lost love. The emotions of the woman in the play, hidden behind the monk's ritualistic performance, parallel the storm of feeling raging just beneath Noriko's subdued expressions.
This is a masterful work and Criterion's translators should be applauded. Also, Richard Peña's commentary points out even more subtleties than I'd read in Richie's book. This DVD is a treasure.
The story is typical Ozu, a young woman enjoys living with her father while her father very much wants her to get married and leave the house. Not that the father doesn't enjoy having her around, he simply feels that she needs to experience life away from the burden of caring for him, so he is willing to make the sacrifice. Simple enough, right? It's the way Ozu tells the story that makes it heartbreaking and meaningful. He eschews conventional approaches to filmmaking, no dissolves, he goes from scene to scene via simple cuts, he lingers on hallways and doors for seconds after characters have left the frame, or before they arrive, his establishing shots are often establishing montages, a series of shots that show streets, buildings, gardens, parkways, flowers. He retains the small details most filmmakers would leave out, the routine greetings, the "hi, how are you doing?"s, the casual preludes to pertinent conversation that might bog down a conventional film but are perfectly at home in the low key world of Ozu. In effect, his films move at a steady and brooding rhythm, they are like mood pieces, tone poems that never deviate from this quietude. Modern American purveyors of shrill and screechy cinema(P.T. Anderson, Paul Haggis) could take a lesson from Ozu.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i am sure this is happening in some families a very good film with lotof very good cinematrafyPublished 13 months ago by david s t saucedo David T. Saucedo
Film = three stars; restoration = barely three stars. This movie can be an acquired taste, but the viewer must be extremely patient during the acquisition process! Read morePublished 19 months ago by William Flanigan
This on one of Yasujiro Ozu's later films, when his style was fully developed. As in most Ozu films, the theme is the Japanese family, or to be more accurate, the dissolution of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Philip Hallquist
loved the movie from begining to end.stars the beautiful and talented Setsuko Hara,what more can I say? Read morePublished 20 months ago by asianman
Love the movie. The last scene is epic. Must see for all family drama fans.
Every scene is structured to the detail, well worth seeing over & over again.
I bought this film because I already knew about it, and because it comes as a bundle with Wenders' "Tokyo Ga". Read morePublished on October 4, 2013 by Cesar Diaz
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