The End of Summer

(Kohayagawa-ke no aki)

Imported 35mm Print

All the late Ozu films are important works. The End of Summer stands out as a meditation on death, with certain shots of an extraordinary power and beauty. The scenes between the two sisters are deeply moving.

Eugène Green, British Film Institute

Ganjiro Nakamura, Setsuko Hara, Yoko Tsukasa, Michiyo Aratama,

The End of Summer comes in with many humorous touches and goes out with a bleak recognition of the fleeting nature of all things. It is the chronicle of a sake-brewing family in Fushimi, outside of Kyoto. While the daughters are variously considering marriage proposals and attempting to reform their philandering father, the old man suffers a heart attack. The family is left to contemplate his last words, spoken to his mistress: “So this is how it ends.” Only in its pacing and visuals, where Yasujiro Ozu meditates on emptiness, does the film prepare us for this abrupt encounter with death. “Death, in the films of Ozu as in life, is simple absence,” Donald Richie noted. In The End of Summer, Richie wrote, “death triumphs. . . . One of Ozu’s most beautiful films, it is one of his most disturbing.”

  • Kogo Noda
  • Asakazu Nakai
  • Japanese
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 103 mins
  • The Japan Foundation
  • Janus Films

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