Students Watanabe and Yamamoto unknowingly compete for the same girl.
Students Watanabe and Yamamoto unknowingly compete for the same girl.
Jours de jeunesse, Días de juventud, Giorni di gioventù, Dias de juventude, Gakusei romansu: Wakaki hi
I've seen quite a few Ozu films over the last week. His first film (actually his 8th, the previous ones didn't survive the war) is pretty interesting when you view it in the context of his later work. Yamamoto and Watanabe, for example, can be read as younger versions of the middle-aged men found in later films like EQUINOX FLOWER (1958) and LATE AUTUMN (1960). Ozu's postwar characters will often reminisce on life before or during the war, sometimes specifically about their time at middle school or the university. To this effect, DAYS OF YOUTH (1929) is almost quite literally the nostalgic fodder for these men, a scene painted with idyllic contemplation that ruminates on a time of innocence, a time…
Such a pleasant surprise. Less of a a comedy in the Chaplin/Keaton/Lloyd sense than I was expecting. This was Ozu's eighth film (and the earliest surviving I believe), and it's fascinating to see elements from his "mature" work appearing here already. Most notably, the pillow shots are here (though edited much more rapidly). And even in 1929, Ozu is focusing on technology -- smokestacks and streetcars. Ozu's characteristic gently melancholic tone is here too. I think that's what surprised me most. His sense of the ephemeral, of transience underlies the film in a way that makes it quite distinct from any contemporary American comedies I've seen, despite many obviously comedic moments. It was much easier to read this as an…
The earliest surviving film from Ozu is a whimsical tale of youth, playing with playful youthful spirit celebrating their present with rivalry of love and not caring about their future.
They lived in their now as a college student. Too lazy to study, too diligent to chase the same girl. Boys and their tricks, making fool of themselves to get the girl's attention. Failing at a test. Failing at getting the girl's love. And in their equal heartbreak, finished rivalry of love, they found the next gate of friendship. They upgraded their value as a friend, as a man, and as a human spirit. And their spirit still survives, in our present. As a present.
On dit que Ozu préférait aller voir des films au cinéma plutôt qu'aller à l'école -- ici nos amis préfèrent le ski aux études! Pis y'a seulement Ozu qui s'attarderait à filmer des pylônes électriques au beau milieu d'une vaste montagne enneigée.
Une caméra adolescente, qui bouge, qui expérimente, qui s'amuse. Oeuvre Insouciante et pleine de défauts, ce qui la rend charmante à mes yeux. Fortement inspirée du slapstick américain, comme en témoigne ce personnage aux lunettes noires, tel un Harold Lloyd, qui met en péril sa rencontre amoureuse pour cause de malencontreuse peinture fraîche imprimée sur la main.
J'aime comme le premier et le dernier plan du film se miroitent.
Going back to a film not found on Criterion Channel to wrap up my Yasujiro Ozu marathon:
I began this chronologically with the snippets of A Straightforward Boy, having never seen anything from Ozu before. It’s jarring to jump backwards in time from the very end back to the beginning. Days of Youth exhibits almost no style in the camerawork and what’s worse is the story has very little to it either.
I was expecting a college comedy, something that would balance pathos and poignancy with Ozu’s expert touches of humor. It was this balance that got me hooked on him, but it’s absent here. Days of Youth is a meandering, uneventful movie about two young men attracted to the…
This certainly turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It's very much a comedy in the Chaplin/Keaton/Lloyd vein. The oldest surviving Ozu film (at least as far as I know), it tells a story of two friends from a university who vie for the attention of the same girl during a skiing trip. Though there's comedy here, it's not devoid of melancholy. Especially fascinating to me was the presence of elements Ozu later became known for: the use of objects, the pillow-shots, the phallic symbolism, the abstractness of life. And Ozu's love for Hollywood is no less intriguing. I loved the poster of Seventh Heaven in the room of one of the students. Truly a charming film that deserves to be better known.
My last film before I can no longer call myself a youth anymore. The last movie before I turn 21 !
Really just proves that Ozu was pretty excellent right off the bat.
"Why don't we act more like gentlemen?" So says walking slapstick goof Yamamoto an hour and fifteen minutes into this after he and classmate Watanabe have spent the whole time to that point engaged in frivolous studies between pining for the same girl. Ozu's earliest surviving feature is, like many of his silents, clearly shaped by his cinephilia, with blatant references to Borzage and others in the form of posters, yet there are hints even this early of the master that Ozu would become. The scene of the lads gazing out their window and the image cutting to a montage of smokestacks billowing outside would seem the first of Ozu's many critiques of rapid development and modernization were these moments…
I am once again officially done, but not done with Ozu—still have to watch that Lion Dance short. Been holding off on this for 8 months nearly (holy fuck), not for any reason. Not even as some ceremonious return to Ozu’s filmography, though I am probably due for a few rewatches. And I am not gonna do what I did the last time I watched an Ozu: write an incredibly personal essay or rant or whatever I could call it. Can’t do that, don’t wanna do that. Admittedly (obviously) that was written in a volatile/vulnerable mental state. Maybe this was a ceremonious watch despite picking it on a whim from my unwatched downloads. My Ozu marathon was by all means,…
Ozu’s earliest surviving film is a student comedy which reflects Ozu’s personal love to American cinema (from direct reference of Frank Borzage‘s film poster to a Harold-Lloyd-like character), it also shares some iconic still landscape/establishing shots (those smoking chimneys!) that would become idiosyncratic in Ozu’s later works. Story-wise it has its charm, though the visual gags are nothing substantially memorable. The ending is surprisingly blunt when the preceding film feels like a rom-com, which I absolutely adore as it presages Ozu’s later more refined realistic viewpoint. “Life is a disappointment, isn’t it?”
Added to: Yasujiro Ozu, Ranked
A delightful film, and nothing more. Hope to check out more of Ozu's style in the films to come.
1er long métrage qu’il a réalisé et qui n’est pas perdu. On suit dans ce film muet 2 étudiants qui se disputent une fille... et c’est à peu près tout. De ce que j’ai compris, Ozu aime bien utiliser l’humour pour critiquer la société et apporter une nuance à ses films mais ici c’est pas du tout le cas. C’est juste une compilation de gags burlesques (qui m’ont pas fait rire) pas très bien rythmé et réalisé. Pas du tout au courant de son style cinématographique mais je pense pas trop m’avancer en disant qu’il avait pas encore trouvé sa marque de fabrique. Cela dit j’ai bien aimé l’idée de faire une partie du film au ski, la neige étant…