Just finished Banshun (Late Spring) by Yasujiro Ozu, who’s shaping up to be one of my favourite filmmakers. It stars the luminous Setsuko Hara as Noriko, a young woman living in post-war Japan with her elderly widowed father. They are perfectly content with each other’s company but societal pressure forces Noriko’s father to seek a husband for her.

The image of Noriko on her wedding day, dressed in her finest kimono garb and lifting her shining, tear-filled eyes to her father as if silently confirming ‘is this what you truly want‘, really strikes my heart. In a lone moment after sending his daughter off on her honeymoon, her father peels an apple slowly in one continuous motion, and the skin lands on the floor. That simple shot poignantly symbolizes the inevitability of life; the submission of Noriko and her father to fates drawn for them.

Advertisements