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Late Ozu [5 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Late Autumn
Director Yasujiro Ozu (1903-63) was famous for dramas which focused tightly on the character of family members and friends making sacrifices for one another's happiness. In Akibiyori, a still-beautiful widow has a daughter who is sufficiently past the favored age for marriage to be in danger of becoming an old maid according to the norms of Japanese culture. Three mature men, friends of the family, get together to discuss the widow and her problem daughter. Despite the fact that they each would like to marry the mother, they agree that one of them should make the sacrifice of marrying the daughter. They discuss their marriage idea with the mother, not the daughter (as is customary). Somehow, the girl hears of it, and is infuriated. She has said all along that though she wants to get married someday, she wants to remain single for some time longer. Now she is angry enough to threaten to accept the family friend's suit simply out of spite. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Tokyo Boshoku
As Yasujiro Ozu's final black-and-white picture, the 1957 Tokyo Twilight explores the emotional landscapes and nuances within a strained Japanese family. Two daughters - Akiko (Ineko Arima) and Takako (Setsuko Hara) - grew up under the sold guardianship of their father, Mr. Sugiyama (Chishu Ryu) after their mother walked out on the family. This created serious psychological problems for both young women that extended well into adulthood: Akiko now spends all of her free time haunting bars and pachinko parlors, looking for her boyfriend, while Takako withdraws from a severely dysfunctional relationship with her alcoholic husband, by whom she has one daughter. In time, Akiko meets a woman who claims to know her as an acquaintance from their childhood neighborhood, and senses that the lady might actually be her mother. This film ventures into slightly darker psychodramatic territory than much of Ozu's work, by courageously dramatizing and exploring issues such as maternal abandonment, broken families and substance abuse. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

The End of Summer
The highly accomplished Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu demonstrates his stylistic touch for deceptive simplicity, rapier wit, and nuances of melancholy in this well-wrought drama about a man in the declining years of his life. Manbei Kohayagawa (Ganjiro Nakamura) has a rich life on three different fronts. He is the head of a brewery that is having problems at the moment, the head of a family in which one widowed daughter needs his help in finding a new mate and the other needs him to help her make the right choice in a future spouse. Manbei has a strong devil-may-care streak and his solution to his burdens at the moment is to look up his old mistress and resume a relationship with her. His decision has unexpected consequences for himself and his family. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Equinox Flower
Equinox Flower (Higanbana) is one of the most lighthearted of Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu's "home dramas." Motivating the plot is a young girl's impulsive decision to marry. The girl's father had always expected that his daughter would first ask his permission to be wed, and indeed wait until he'd chosen her husband for her. After all, it is not only family tradition, but a cultural "must". But this is the 1950s, and the girl proceeds with her plans on her own volition. Dad's anger and disappointment over not having been consulted is played out in long, uninterrupted takes, allowing actor Shin Saburi to run the emotional gamut from comic discomfiture to moving pathos. As in most of his best films, director Ozu also collaborated on the script of Equinox Flower. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Early Spring
Like most of director Yasujiro Ozu's work, Early Spring is a deceptively simple family drama: a middle-aged office worker, bored with dreary routines of his job and his marriage, succumbs to a brief fling with the office flirt. His wife inevitably discovers his infidelity, but when he accepts a transfer to the country, she follows him to start their life anew. Ozu's depiction of marital difficulties is hardly depressing. Instead he employs his signature warmth, sensitivity, and humor to create a touching, thoughtful film. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Nobuo Nakamura
    Nobuo Nakamura - Shuzo Taguchi
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    Keiji Sada - The Young Man
  • Setsuko Hara
    Setsuko Hara - Akiko Miwa
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    Miyuki Kuwano - Michiko
  • Image coming soon
    Kuniko Miyake - Nobuko
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.