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Late Spring

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Celeste Modster
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Late Spring

Late Spring by Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu was captivating to me for a variety of reasons. Ozu keeps things light even in the midst of the true sentiment of the events of the time. His main character, Noriko constantly smiles through most scenes. She is the only child of a Widower, 27 years old who has a great love and sense of obligation to her father. She is considered at an advanced age for marriage so throughout the story, the focus is on getting her married off. She has a male companion that appears to be available and a prospect but is unavailable. Another smiling moment for Noriko who

seems to be perfectly single and happy, presumably for the rest of her life. She has time and money to participate in Tea Ceremony representing hope and leisure.


Many things are left unsaid or unknown in the empty spaces of Ozo’s scene selections.

The untold within the film is the reason that Noriko has not been married during her prime years. What was happening in that time period? War and death are eliminated from the story line which is a brilliant creative choice by Ozo. Noriko eventually gets married at the insistence and manipulation of her aunt. It was the first moment of the movie that I saw of sadness.


In my art classes, I incorporate lessons on video movie production with focus on treatment. In order to keep the attention of the viewer, the shot selections have to change rapidly. Yet, Yasujiro Ozu in Late Spring, evokes thought and stimulates emotion with very slow pacing and lingering empty spaces. Prior to our seminar session with Professor Yasar, I had the opportunity to view the movie. I loved the mood created by the absence of color and I was drawn into the silences within the scenes, which caused me to speculate or interpret portions of the story line.


I’d like to use this film to teach about roles of woman in China during 1949 and to introduce the ideas of the Virtuous woman by Ban Zhao. I would like to create a lesson where my students are required to model their compositions with the intention of maintaining interest of the viewer.