12 August 2010 | evileyereviews
Burns slow and wonderfully, like incense
First things first, this classic burns like incense, slow and wonderful. For those easily bored don't bother. That said, like watching incense burn, the tapestry of our character's existence becomes mesmerizing. This incredible flick is a subtle exposition of Japanese culture as seen through the differing generations that exist under one roof. Even more so, that this occurred during the highly transformation period of Japan at the end of the US occupation demonstrates the rapid evolution of an eastern culture with the contrast between the traditional grandparents, the liberated and business-minded children, and the horribly bratty grandchildren. As the story comes to its denouement, the resultant emotional strife is relegated as inevitable in place of culpability. The story unfolds under the static eye of a beautifully composed camera lens, and the nuances of Japanese culture are elucidated through the brilliance that is routine life. The acting is relaxed and natural, with performances whose genius is hidden in magnified nuance. As well, the beauty of Setsuko, the focal point of Early Summer, becomes almost blinding with each and every smile. Flouting little things such as plot, this story is nonetheless riveting and is a treat to watch. Ozu's direction is inspirational through his uniquely static poetry of the screen.
Evil Eye Reviews