two women in traditional Japanese dress sitting on a mat indoors, looking at the cameraalr

Late Spring
(Banshun)

New 35mm print!
Screening on Film
Directed by Ozu Yasujiro.
With Ryu Chishu, Hara Setsuko, Sugimura Haruko.
Japan, 1949, 35mm, black & white, 108 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
Print source: HFA

Among Ozu’s most beloved films, Late Spring is considered the first of the so-called Noriko Trilogy (continued in Early Summer and Tokyo Story) starring Hara Setsuko in the eponymous role as a paradigm of filial piety faced with a serious challenge to her dutifully assumed role. In Late Spring it is the pressure to marry placed by an aunt (Sugimura Haruko, once again perfecting the role of the perennial busybody) that pushes into crisis Noriko’s relationship with her widowed father, played by Ozu stalwart Ryu Chishu. Two of the most iconic scenes in all of Ozu’s cinema are found here: a beachside bicycle trip taken by a radiant Hara and a would-be suitor, and a much discussed, debated scene between father and daughter in which a vase plays a mysteriously charged role. Late Spring is often cited as Ozu’s first major postwar film and the first full articulation of his mature style. – HG

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Ozu 120: The Complete Ozu Yasujiro