Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2018

Review: Early Summer (1951)

In Yasujiro Ozu’s film, and as in our lived experience, the passage of time is made palpable when loss, either in the form of a severance of bonds or simply the irrevocable departure from one period to the next, is imminent. To submit to the volatile nature of time, and thus to accept that there are limits to men’s power, help mitigate our anxiety in the face of the inevitable. In Japanese culture, such is the commendable attitude when it comes to loss and death: fear and grief, as long as we are humans, may not be suppressed but may be transcended. As a lifelong exponent of Japan’s traditional ethos, Ozu, in his post-war films especially, endorses implicitly the transcendence of human emotions as the optimal response to life’s vicissitudes and, above all, the physical and psychological ravage of war. On the cusp of an immense societal change, the Japanese public did not react favourably to Ozu’s philosophy, whose emphasis on the primacy of quietude was invariably misconstrued as a re…