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Late Spring / The Only Son (DVD + Blu-ray)
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The Ozu Collection
LATE SPRING + THE ONLY SON (DVD + Blu-ray)
Films by Yasujiro Ozu
Yasujiro Ozu's hugely influential award-winning masterpiece, Late Spring, is a tender meditation on family politics, sacrifice and the status quo. Noriko (Setsuko Hara) and her father, Professor Somiya (Chishu Ryu), live together in perfect harmony but old certainties are put at risk when an interfering aunt raises the question of marriage. Introducing Ozu's popular Noriko character, Late Spring poignantly examines the gradual compromise between modernity and tradition.
Also included here is Ozu's first sound film, The Only Son - a powerful tale of sacrifice and hope set against the backdrop of depression-era Japan. Otsune Nonomiya (Choko Lida) works long hours in a silk factory to fund her son Ryosuke's college education in Tokyo. But when she visits him to see his new life she finds some very startling surprises.
- Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Late Spring and The Only Son (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essay
- New and improved English subtitles
Japan | 1949 + 1936 | black and white | Japanese language, English subtitles | 108 minutes + 83 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit) + Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)
Region B Blu-ray
Region 2 DVD
'The greatest of all Japanese film makers' --Jana Bokova
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Top Customer Reviews
One or two comical elements aside - some of the music is corny and the significance of the Noh play will be lost on most westerners - Late Spring is occasionally funny but often painfully sad, more overtly emotional than Tokyo Story's narrative of disappointment. One might be tempted to sneer at Noriko's sunny disposition, but when they start to pester her the smile vanishes: the effect is shocking. Ozu has the gift of making one remember how to appreciate human emotions rather than dismiss them as a loss of composure.
Anyway, it is a portrait of a vanished world, one whose restraint makes Jane Austen costume dramas look downright licentious. Fascinating and haunting viewing.
Ozu's masterpieces (and this is one of them) are in fact made of a very controlled and quiet direction, that is functional to breathe life into their stories and let the actors, the scenes, the movements and the mood create unique and touching moments to be felt by viewers rather than being watched.
Ozu is the demonstration of simplicity achieved out of a very complex and deep vision of the world and of cinema language. It is like Eastwood one said: "the idea of perfection and beauty lies in its absolute simplicity".
And Ozu, simply, makes us live and empathize with something very common for everyone: getting old, fear of being alone, love and affection for those you care the most, and the hope you will be loved back.
Ozu's greatness is evidenced by a staggeringly high level of consistency throughout his output from the early silents to the final austere masterworks. Late Spring is one of his most revered films and it looks very beautiful here with very clear pictures and sound. Some reviewers say the Criterion region 1 version is even better, with improved picture resolution. The Criterion release also comes with a Richard Peña commentary and Wim Wenders' documentary Tokyo-Ga (1985), an Ozu homage which has interviews with Ryū Chishū and Yūharu Atsuta. That sounds tempting, but if you go for it you will miss out on the wonderful pre-war masterpiece The Only Son which BFI have coupled Late Spring with here. Not having a Blu-ray player I can't comment on the first disc which contains both films, but the DVD is certainly excellent. The Only Son has been chosen by BFI because it has the same theme of an only child growing up with a single parent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ozu’s 1949 film exemplifies this master film-maker’s near-unique approach to the medium – story-telling at its simplest and most honest, delivered with the minimum of fuss or show,... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Keith M
Another masterpiece from Yasujiro Ozu.
Bonus film (The Only Son) is also very good with simple but very touching story from which everyone can learn a thing or two.
I bought this DVD to watch with my partner on New Year's day. The stories were wonderful and natural. They were moving films and I would strongly recommend it. Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2015 by poppet
Once again, as it would be with his most celebrated film, Tokyo Story (number 3 on the Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time list, while this could only manage a feeble 15th),... Read morePublished on 7 May 2013 by R. J. Lister