Early Summer | Chicago Reader

Early Summer

124 minutes 1951

One of Yasujiro Ozu's inimitable family melodramas, this particular example dating from 1951. His highly ritualized films—Tokyo Story, An Autumn Afternoon—seem almost identical in surface characteristics: the same plots and characters recur with alarming regularity. But they are all different, one from another, in subtle, mysterious ways, working out the various permutations of points of view. If you've seen one Ozu film, you probably have the drift of his austere, quiet style, and you don't need my recommendation. If you haven't, take a chance: they may not be for everybody, but they remain monuments of personal cinema. In Japanese with subtitles.

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