29 October 2010

THE NORIKO TRILOGY: BANSHUN / LATE SPRING (Dir. Yasujiro Ozu, 1949, Japan) - Moments In Time

The denouement, if you can call it that, in Ozu's Banshun (Late Spring) and the first part of his famous Noriko trilogy had me enraptured at the litany of emotions experienced by the aging and lonely Professor Shukichi (Chishu Ryu). Having given away his daughter, Shukichi returns home to an empty place. Now devoid of companionship and the affecting presence of his caring daughter Noriko (Setsuko Hara), Ozu expands time by extenuating Shukichi's loneliness through a series of carefully composed images including a weary silhouette, the symbolic peeling of an apple and the final shot of waves sweeping in across the shoreline. It is a magical ending full of melodramatic sentiments that are visualised with a powerful emotional clarity by Ozu.


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