Early Summer (1951)

“Early Summer” is definitely one of my favorite foreign films. It vividly portrays the everyday nuances of a Japanese family in the 1950s, which is far different than what I’ve witnessed and experienced. I find myself fascinated by the Japanese etiquette and their cultural traditions. What strikes me the most is the notion of how straightforward Japanese people are. Remarks that would be considered indirectly offensive in my society were taken as mere jokes in the film.

I also find it interesting that Noriko struggles for her emancipation and remains optimistic throughout the film. She is able to determine her own course of action despite being pressed to make a decision by her family. Many tease and press her to marry someone before it’s too late and she does not succumb to the pressure. Instead, she acted according to her own instinct and reason. It reminds me of a friend who refused to accept an arranged marriage with relentless effort against her parents’ will.

I often find it hard to fully immerse myself into foreign films due to my reluctance to read the subtitle and watch the movie simultaneously. However, I did not have that trouble at all with “Early Summer”. The gestures and the comedy were sufficient to keep me in my seat for two hours. That is an extraordinary accomplishment considering how much I loathe subtitle. In my opinion, subtitle hampers the immersion of films as it makes the audience read just as much as to watch.

All in all, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone who’s interested in unique styles of filming. “Early Summers” is a great film that shows the distinct Japanese influence in both culture and film-making style. It comes in second after a Swedish film called “Let the Right One In” in my personal top foreign films. I wonder how many people in this class have watched that film.

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5 Comments so far

  1.   bdolan90 on October 21st, 2010

    I definitely agree with a lot of the things you brought up, I found the humor in this film pretty amusing as well since like you pointed out, a lot of it would be considered offensive here but seemed very light to them.

    I absolutely LOVED Let the Right One In, it was a beautiful movie & so amazing, definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve been thinking about checking out the American remake but I’m worried that I’ll be disappointed, although it has received good reviews.

  2.   dquinlan on October 21st, 2010

    I definitely agree with you on the point about the subtitles. usually films with the subtitle throw me off but in this film it seemed to flow rather naturally and kept in to the film the whole time.

  3.   mjanczewski on October 24th, 2010

    Although I didn’t find this film to be particularly interesting (my opinion), I have to agree that it does wonderfully portray the Japanese family and Japanese culture.

    I also agree with you about subtitles because I hate them too, but I didn’t really mind them in this film.

  4.   ブレスレット メンズ on October 22nd, 2013

    ブレスレット レザー

  5.   audio book publishers on August 28th, 2016

    audio book publishers

    Modesty » Early Summer (1951)

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