3.24.2010

Late Autumn : 3 of 5

Since I really enjoyed seeing Good Morning, Matt & Kumiko invited me to watch another film by the same director, Yasujiro Ozu, and it was fascinating to watch another of his works after studying his technique. His style of zero camera movement is unique and interesting, and he never breaks his own rule (at times when a slow zoom would be effective, he cuts away for a few seconds, then returns to a close-up to accomplish it). I'm also intrigued by his "middle of the conversation" composition (breaking the traditional 180 rule), which had to require an enormous amount of extra work on the camera crew as well as the actors! Unfortunately, while Good Morning left me feeling positive about humanity, Late Autumn had a much different effect on me. I'm certain that I read far too much into the storyline, but it truly did leave me thinking about questions raised by the story for days. While the plot didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, I can't deny that this is a fantastic film simply because it left such an impression on me. The basic story is about a widow and her daughter who prefers to live with her mother rather than get married, who's life eventually changes due to the meddling of three old gentlemen. The tone of the movie is definitely comedic, but there are extended scenes where people are obviously emotionally distraught, yet continue to suffer simply because they will not say what they feel, and these moments can get excruciating at times! The girl's outlook is clear when she says, "Love and marriage go together, but even if they don't, life is worth living", yet in the end one of the old men sums up what seems to be the true message by saying, "People complicate life, life itself is simple" (which is especially poignant since his character has been the ringleader for all the complication!). I definitely want to experience more of Ozu's work, both for the cinematic style as well as his storytelling technique, since sometimes movies that leave the viewer filled with questions are ultimately the most rewarding.