3 March 2013 | museumofdave
Lacking The Director's Usual Quiet Magic, But Will Worthwhile
I consider Yasujiro Ozu one of the worlds most significant and distinctive directors, a man who eschews false dazzle in favor of examining the human condition, human relationships; most of his films are quietly incisive portraits of people coming to conclusions and making decisions which will permanently affect their lives. Ozu imparts subtlety to his characters, his sense of time and place are impeccable, and his respect for his characters unparalleled. All of that said, I think that Early Spring is one of his least effective--one easily sees the point he makes about corporate behavior and marital infidelity, but this one, rather than quietly contemplative, struck me as merely slow. The characters too often lack any redeeming qualities, and yet we are apparently supposed to care about them for more than two hours, difficult when there is so little to work with--Early Spring is certainly not a stinker, by any means, but for me, a lesser Ozu, and if you want to start with something more characteristic, begin with either version of Floating Weeds, or with his masterpiece, Tokyo Story.