Ozu’s first-rate follow-up to 1953’s Tokyo Story, his acknowledged masterpiece, finds the director returning to a favourite milieu of his earlier, silent work: the workaday world of salaried office men. A discontented young white-collar worker, bored with his wife and his job, has a brief affair with the office flirt, and imperils his marriage. “I wanted to show the life of a man with such a job — his happiness over graduation and finally becoming a member of society, his hopes for the future gradually dissolving, his realizing that, even though he has worked for years, he has accomplished nothing ... I wanted to bring out what you might call the pathos of such a life” (Ozu). The sensitive tale is rendered with the formal beauty, economical style, and low-key sadness that are the great director’s hallmarks. “Impeccably acted ... Ozu’s magnificent Early Spring seems utterly fresh and contemporary. This modest classic also conveys the claustrophobia of office life better than any other film I've seen” (Nora Sayre, New York Times). B&W, 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles. 145 mins.
"With subtle precision, Ozu shows how personal and national anxieties seep through infinite lives. Yet this impeccably acted movie is far from depressing, since the filmmaker stresses that mistakes aren't irreversible."New York Times | full review
"Anyone who finds the socio-psychological problems of post-war Japan engaging will find the movie both fascinating and rather moving, simply as evidence."Time Out | full review
"A casual yet meticulously detailed reconstruction of Japan's routinized white-collar milieu."Chicago Reader | full review