It's a whole new world

Thoughts in motion for Media Studies & H.O.C

The Early Summer never ends….

Filed under: Class blog posts — Natalie Bernabe at 4:32 am on Friday, October 28, 2011

This movie was a bit different from the rest that we’ve watched because it was so domestic. Early Summer is literally about a story of an extended family named Mamiya, and revolves primarily around the eldest daughter, Noriko. It was interesting because we saw the lifestyle of a traditional japanese family. The low camera angle that let us experience dining with the family made us feel as if we were part of the family. Compared to other films that we’ve watched, where we are not totally invovled, but here, we feel a sort of connection to this family.

This movie revolves around a certain number of themes and conflicts. For one, there is marriage. Noriko has reached the age of 28, which is a bit mature to still be single. Her family urges her to marry, and she has (by the boss that she seems to be interested in) a candidate that is wealthy, but much older. The movie focused on how her family were so willing to put her with this unknown suitor, who we never see, and is never directly asked her opinion to the man. This shows how, in countries like Japan, that marriage is regarded highly by the family, and that the bride’s opinion does not always matter. They never took into account her happiness, and the expressions Noriko would have expressed her discontent of the suitor.

Another theme is the conflict between gender and family status. Her elder brother, koichi, regards this suitor be the best, and when his wife and mother try to disagree with him, his anger flares up. There is the need for this man to dominate the household. On another point, this movie was unique becuause it would go into a scene, and then never finish it, or show what came next. For example, the scene where Koichi gets angry at his two sons for throwing the bread that they thought were toys. They show the boys walking along the beach, but never when they are actually found; it is heard from the father receiving a phone call. As well as the last scene, where Noriko gets married off, but we never see the wedding.

The fact that Noriko and her friends were separated into 2 sides; the married and unmarried, also show the intensity of marriage in Japan. The single women were looked down upon just because they were in fact single, although they had jobs. It became more of the domestic housewife, or independent worker. I believe that Ozu was trying to portray women as actually doing something for themselves, instead of only their husbands. . Although the family accepted Noriko’s choice of a different husband, it felt as if woman and men were still in different levels, even though many women were working now, and were much more independent.

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