Early Spring

Screening on Film
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
With Chikage Awashima, Keiko Kishi, Chishu Ryu.
Japan, 1956, 35mm, black & white, 144 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Ozu’s longest film, and one of his richest, Early Spring followed Tokyo Story after a three-year hiatus. The hope promised by the title quickly fades as Shoji, a recent graduate, becomes an office worker and gradually realizes that he is trapped—in his job, his marriage, his predictable life. His attempt to forestall the inevitable future of disillusionment and loneliness by dallying with a young, flirtatious typist named Goldfish leads to separation from his wife and, finally, a new position in a rural outpost. Ozu treats what he called “the pathos of the white-collar life” with characteristic reticence and clear-eyed sympathy; his meticulous portrayal of the rhythms of a “salaryman’s” life—the endless cycle of commuting, office hell, and drinking—achieves a kind of quotidian grandeur.

Part of film series

Read more

Yasujiro Ozu.
A Centennial Celebration