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Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu (Early Spring / Tokyo Twilight / Equinox Flower / Late Autumn / The End of Summer) (The Criterion Collection)

4.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Five wonderful works of art by Japanese master filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu. Made directly after Tokyo Story, widely considered his most perfect film and one of the greatest movies ever made, these titles show Ozu at the top of the game, visually and narratively. Elegant, humorous, rich with joy and sadness, these films further demonstrate why Ozu has become synonymous with the word cinema. Five-Disc Set Includes: Early Spring A married salaryman in postwar Tokyo enters into an affair with an office mate in this moving portrait of a fragile marriage. Tokyo Twilight In the dead of winter, past and present traumas afflict two sisters and their aging father in this, one of Ozu's most heartbreaking and powerful works. Equinox Flower In Ozu's splendid first color film, a stubborn businessman who disapproves of his daughter's fiance must learn to embrace modern romance. Late Autumn Ozu regular Setsuko Hara, once the marrying child in Late Spring, becomes the parent in this poignant tale of the bonds between mother and daughter. The End of Summer Ozu's second-to-last film beautifully blends comedy and tragedy to tell the story of three sisters who are stunned to discover that their aging father has taken up with his former mistress.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Miyuki Kuwano, Shinichirô Mikami, Chishu Ryu, Ryuji Kita, Mariko Okada
  • Directors: Yasujiro Ozu
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2007
  • Run Time: 636 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OPPAF6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,192 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eclipse Series 3: Late Ozu (Early Spring / Tokyo Twilight / Equinox Flower / Late Autumn / The End of Summer) (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

First the "bad" news: you don't get the usual Criterion extras (commentaries/documentaries) for this release. Each movie has only chapter search and subtitle switch.
Now the good news: you do get very good audio/video (supposedly not restored by Criterion, but I couldn't tell the difference); the price per film is low; the contents of the box are unsurpassable: five major mature Ozu films, which means all of a sudden we have no less than ten late-period Ozu movies plus a silent release available from Criterion.
Was there a greater moviemaker than Ozu? Watch all eleven and you may find yourself asking that question.
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The quietude and lack of pretense in Yasujiro Ozu's idiosyncratic films continue to draw me to his impressive body of work, which gratefully continues to be restored by the Criterion Collection. From the stationary, tatami-level camera angles to the selective re-use of his familiar ensemble cast, Ozu displays an unforced cinematic style unique in its deliberate pacing and elliptical narrative structures. As it should be, his most acclaimed work is the "Noriko" trilogy - Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951) and the extraordinary Tokyo Story (1953) - which has been given deluxe DVD treatments by Criterion in individual packages in the past few years. His career continued until his death in 1962, and this box set from Criterion's subsidiary Eclipse celebrates five of the films he made after "Tokyo Story". Because there are none of the extras to be found in the previously released DVDs, neither an informative commentary from a film scholar nor a historical documentary, the films are left to stand on their own albeit with English subtitles. They represent a solid collection from a master, but I also think they are best appreciated after seeing the "Noriko" trilogy or his other masterpiece, 1959's Floating Weeds where you get in-depth orientations into Ozu's filmmaking style.Read more ›
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Laughter and sorrow mingle in this Ozu film about a large family of five siblings and their aging father, a widower who resumes a relationship with a mistress from 20 years ago. Meanwhile, two of his unmarried daughters consider the future as both have suitors of their own, and the family business, a brewery, struggles to keep itself afloat and there's talk of a merger. Many things, as it happens, are coming to an end, not just the summer, of which we are reminded in scene after scene as characters fan themselves and each other. One senses also that the film records the end of traditional Japanese culture as it absorbs everything American - from western-style dress and English phrases, to Coca Cola, a sing-along to the tune of "My Darling Clementine," and a young woman who seems to have walked straight out of a Gidget movie and wants a mink stole. The sun-washed colors are reminiscent of 1950s Hollywood.

Ozu's recognizable theatrical style is evident everywhere, as characters arrange themselves in carefully posed compositions or move in and out of the frame (often glimpsed through doorways) while the camera remains stationary and low to the floor. Sequences of scenes are separated by exterior shots of trees or narrow streets - like still photographs. A row of barrels lies tilted against a wall, each at exactly the same angle, two open umbrellas filling a space between them. In one memorable scene, a grandfather and his young grandson play a game of hide-and-seek, calling back and forth to each other, while the grandfather secretly changes clothes to make an escape from the house. It's Ozu at his best, a gently told story about life's intermingling of endings and new beginnings.
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Now we have 5 more late ozu films to digest - and such a delicious meal it is... Yasijuro ozu's films are noted for their simplicity and their sensitivity to the family dynamic.. As a master of his craft ozu's films are deceptively packed with details and very methodic in their construction.. His pacing combined with character revelations often leave us feeling completely satisfied at the end of the picture as if he has taken us down to a meditative place and let us emerge back into our own worlds at the end of the picture.. But speaking of such things is useless.. you need to watch these family dramas for yourself to understand the kinds of feelings that will emerge inside of you..
Ozu was a technician perhaps more quiet than directors like hitchcock, lang, or even kurosawa and mizoguchi - but his movies speak volumes without the extra action and manipulations.. That is probably why so many people find his work refreshing..

This box set contains 5 movies that are among his most effective.. my particular favorite was 'the end of summer' which featured some of his actors from previous films including Ganjiro nakamura as the very childlike grandfather figure.. This movie for me is one of Ozu's best - also it utilizes color in a very striking way (for another fine example of ozu's color see floating weeds).. The other films are also in the same league.. equinox flower is another favorite of mine..

Criterion collections new eclipse series is truly a most welcome venue to discover older movies that you may not have seen.. There is also an excellent collection of early bergman movies now available - and a samuel fuller box is on the way.. It is well worth the price..
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