- Early Spring - Yasujiro Ozu (1956)
6 days ago
Devoted to the discussion of film expression
1. Morning in the City
In the first part, we are introduced to the rather regimented world of the Tokyo office workers . They all live in cramped apartments, all wear the same “office” clothes, and commute back and forth to work in crowded trains. Sugiyama and Masako are just one couple in this crowd. During a lunch break, a number of the workers decide to break the monotony of work by going on a day hike at a nearby mountain.
2. Sugiyama and Goldfish
On the hike, Sugiyama begins chatting with a girl from the company’s typing pool, “Goldfish”. Soon they are shown having lunch together, and thanks to the vivaciousness of Goldfish their acquaintanceship blossoms into an affair. The actual moments of passion are omitted by Ozu’s ellipsis here.
3. Breakdown at the Office
Although Sugiyama and Goldfish conceal their relationship, their gossipy coworkers at the office begin to suspect something. A few of them arrange a fake party that is intended to serve as a kangaroo court to accuse Goldfish and Sugiyama of adultery. Sugiyama is preoccupied with news that he is going to be transferred by the company to the remote town of Mitsuishi, and he misses the setup party. But Goldfish show up, and she is reduced to tears by their nasty allegations.
4. Breakdown at Home
Eventually the suspicious Masako becomes sure of Sugiyama’s infidelity, and their ensuing quarrel leads to her moving out of their apartment to go live with a girlfriend. Masako cuts herself off from Sugiyama, hanging up the phone when he calls her up. So Sugiyama glumly goes off alone to Mitsuishi to take up his new post. In the end, though, friends and family intervene to convince Masako to go join her husband. They meet up, mutually apologize, and agree to start a new life together.
1. Ingeborg and Nelly Receive a Visit
2. The Village Ball
“Once I lived under a stairs in an old castle in ruins. Across from the stairs was a big broken window. Through it I could see the fields beneath the moon, the sea, the woods, and two bone-meal factories.”He adds further,
“This is a moonlit life. Not yet for you, but you’ll soon see. . . unreal light, darkness, and shadows, and all manner of frightful things."
He repeats this moonlit imagery several times later in the story, as if it represents a capsule summary of his obsessive melancholic psyche.
Although Ulf shows up and punches out Jack, it is clear that Nelly is attracted to the city slicker, and she informs the distraught Ingeborg that she will immediately leave with Jenny for the city.
3. Nelly in the City
anyway to his embraces, and they make love. Then, to Nelly’s shock, Jenny hauntingly shows up alive and well at her apartment and confronts the unclad girl in her bed. This sets up a final confrontation between Jenny, Jack, and Nelly that has disastrous and fatal consequences.
4. Back Home
The final segment, which is rather flat, shows Nelly returning to the village to live with Ingeborg. Ulf is there waiting for her, but Nelly is too traumatized by what has happened and has no patience for his hang-dog entreaties.
“Jenny lives off me, and I live off Nelly. It’s all rather diabolic.”