Mono no aware on steroids

I just watched the Ozu film Early Summer and thought it was really quite wonderful. Basically it’s about a 3-generation family trying to find their 28-year old daughter a husband, and her refusal of what seems an advantageous match in favor of an old family friend whom the others find unsuitable but she thinks she can trust completely. Everyone’s considerate of everyone else but people aren’t perfect and there are no perfect solutions. It’s a slice of life—ordinarily good people with ordinary limitations dealing with life’s ordinary difficulties, decisions and losses. Especially the losses: the death of one son in war, the loss of friends as life changes, the breakup of the household when the daugher gets married and her paycheck disappears, changing roles for women and the resulting difficulties, the loss of Japanese traditional culture symbolized by a rustic uncle and perhaps by the badly behaved children. It’s completely down-to-earth and at the same time sublime.

3 thoughts on “Mono no aware on steroids”

  1. Ozu
    Nice post. It reminds me that I’ve been meaning to write about Late Spring, which I saw a couple of months ago. It’s also reminding me to add more Ozu to my Netflix list. Thanks.

  2. Have you seen Autumn
    Have you seen Autumn Afternoon? All these Ozu films run together, but it’s my favourite. The relationship between the father and daughter is very sweet.

    • Ozu does color!
      I saw it some years ago and thought it too was wonderful. The aesthetic of transience meets modernization. Getting drunk in a flashy bar instead of a garden watching the moon rise or whatever. It works.


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