Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Late Spring" or "Ban Shun" )

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ozu.htm
Japan 1949

One of the most powerful of Yasujiro Ozu’s family portraits, Late Spring tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his only, beloved daughter. Loyal Ozu players Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara command this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan, which remains as potent today as ever—almost by itself justifying Ozu’s inclusion in the pantheon of cinema’s greatest directors.

***

Noriko (Setsuko Hara) is utterly devoted to her widowed father Somiya (Chishu Ryu, like Hara she is quickly recognized as another Ozu regular). While attending a "Noh" theatrical play with him she focuses on a lady she believes that he intends to wed. He isn't in actuality but he has only told Noriko this to encourage her to get married herself and leave the nest. Father feels it is time and doesn't want to burden his daughter's future happiness. Noriko is obviously disturbed by this potential union with a combination of jealousy and anger flashing subtly across her face. Her pain is transferred to us in such a cohesive fashion that the sense of being a voyeur in these peoples lives is almost embarrassing for the viewer.

No director even comes close to expressing the essence of "mono no aware" like Yasujiro Ozu
(that we experience the wholeness of life by encountering things (mono) and being sensitive to them (no aware). Feeling without verbalization is a conduit of art cinema since the silent era. Somiya's quiet 'hmms' to his daughter in regards to her direct questions about his plans to re-marry are as memorable as any emotion I have seen in film. I will never forget that scene, nor many others, in "Late Spring". Another is how perfectly beautiful and fetching Setsuko Hara looks after a bike ride with a potential suitor. They sit together and watch the ocean, the wind blows in her hair and she smiles at him - more with amusement at his pursuit of her than encouragement. She is far too content to worry about men in her life and this is also expressed in a few smiles. Noriko is so reluctant to adjust her simple and beautiful manner of living and challenging it becomes agonizing and later her mannerisms display how distraught she is.

For me "Late Spring" eclipses "Tokyo Story" as my favorite Ozu film. His continued style of the 180 degree cuts when there is conversation is so elegant, restrained and respectful. The emotion his films bring underplay the directors constant future theme of bridging of familial conflict, communication and unselfish love. One of the greatest films I have ever seen.

Gary Tooze

Poster

Theatrical Release: September 13th, 1949

Reviews          More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC vs. Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP LEFT

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC TOP MIDDLE

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 331

Region 1 - NTSC

Bo Ying

Region 0 - NTSC

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

 

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM LEFT

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Panorama
Region 0 - NTSC

BFI

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection Spine 331

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Criterion Bo Ying Tartan Panorama BFI Criterion
Runtime 1:48:04 1:47:44  1:48:12 1:47:44 1:47:58.472 1:48:20.535
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.19 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,251,913,412 bytes

Feature: 24,459,565,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 47,365,776,129 bytes

Feature Size: 31,950,440,448 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Criterion

Bitrate:

Bo Ying

Bitrate:

 

Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy)

 

Bitrate:

 

Panorama

 

Bitrate:

BFI

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

Criterion

Blu-ray

 

Audio 1.0 Dolby Digital Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese

2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese

LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, None English, None English, Traditional Chinese, None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Richard Pena

• Tokyo-Ga (1985, 92 mins), legendary director Wim Wenders’ tribute to Yasujiro Ozu
• Audio commentary by Richard Peņa, program director of New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center
• Liner Notes essays by critic Michael Atkinson and renowned Japanese-film historian Donald Richie

DVD Release Date:
May 9th, 2006
Double Thick Keepcase

Chapters 25

Release Information:
Studio: Bo Ying (China)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: December 6, 2004
Triple Digipack

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Panorama

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
• Text screens - bio of Ozu

DVD Release Date: November 14th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

 

1.33:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,251,913,412 bytes

Feature: 24,459,565,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Extensive illustrated booklet featuring essays and film notes

• Contains full length feature The Only Son in 1080P

Blu-ray Release Date: June 21st, 2010
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

 

Disc Size: 47,365,776,129 bytes

Feature Size: 31,950,440,448 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Richard Peņa, program director of New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center
• Tokyo-Ga (1985, 1:31:53), legendary director Wim Wenders’ tribute to Yasujiro Ozu
• Liner Notes essays by critic Michael Atkinson and renowned Japanese-film historian Donald Richie

Blu-ray Release Date:
April 17th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 24

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - March 2012: I'll try to be brief. The Criterion Blu-ray transfer has a slight technical edge (larger feature file size - higher bitrate). But the differences can be so minute as to sound picky when analyzing. But, her we go: One of the most notable differences is that Criterion seem to have digitally restored some of the most visible damage marks - even beyond their own 2006 DVD! You can see it below in the 'bicycle ride' and the prominent vertical scratch on the left edge has been 'fixed'. Bravo! This is appreciated. The Blu-rays come from the same source as both BFI and Criterion images match up with most of the less-significant damage. But Criterion have gone a step further with some frame-specific clean-up. Brining out the magnifying glass - the BFI has a smidgeon of more information in the frame, seems to show a tad more grain but also more noise. Both are fabulous but the Criterion have, predictably for some, edged ahead.

Audio is a wash - I didn't notice any difference and Criterion have also utilized a linear PCM on their region 'A"-locked Blu-ray disc. Now there may be some slight differences but I can only say I nothing stuck out - the audio still has rougher patches but nothing that would deter a viewing. There are optional English subtitles in a slightly different translation to the BFI.

Blu-ray supplements are the same as the older Criterion DVD with the excellent Pena commentary and we also get Wim Wenders 90 minute Tokyo Ga. Wenders travels to Japan in search of the Tokyo seen in the films of Yasujiro Ozu. A fitting documentary for fans of Ozu and the film. There is also the liner notes rounding off a wonderful keepsake package of one of the greatest films of all time. Region 'A'-locked film fans can indulge... with confidence.

***

ADDITION: BFI Dual-format package - July 2010: Firstly, to clear things up - contrary to what it says on Amazon.UK - The Only Son IS available in this package in high-definition. The 1:22:30 long film, Ozu's first talkie, takes up more than 18.5 Gig of space - sharing the dual-layered Blu-ray with Late Spring. We have compared full resolution captures for The Only Son HERE.

Late Spring always drains me - but it was even more impacting in this new 1080P transfer from the BFI. Criterion supplied the graded master materials, however BFI did their own A/V transfer/restoration. Damage marks are obviously duplicated.

The disc is coded for region 'B'. It improves over all DVD editions - even the picture-boxed Criterion. What is apparent are the scratches - Criterion further digitally cleaned their 2006 DVD lessening the intensity of the sequences with damage. The higher resolution (vastly higher than the Criterion which was horizontally limited by the pictureboxing) on the Blu-ray brings these scratches to a higher prominence (see the Coca-Cola sign capture). I actually prefer the scratches to over-digitization of an image. Criterion generally walks a fine line in this regard but in side-by-side comparison with the BFI 1080P - the improvement is still very noticeable. It extends to contrast as well as other factors with whites appearing brighter and black levels more pitch. This is even better than I was hoping for. I expect that anyone watching this on larger than a 20" tube will see the superiority of the BFI - from more grain to occasional scenes showing depth. The larger your screen the greater the visual improvement. Once you come to accept the source deficiencies you come to really appreciate this transfer.

BFI have the Japanese soundtrack in a lossless linear PCM 2.0 at 2304 kbps. While it sounds cleaner and crisper the weaknesses stands out as well. It still has moments of hollowness but didn't overly impact my presentation.  I should note that I prefer the BFI subtitle font size to any of the others.

Included in this package are SD transfers of both film (Late Spring and The Only Son) and a liner notes booklet with an essay by James Bell (Sight and Sound) and Ozu biographer Tony Rayns.

I recall when I lent Late Spring to a good friend - a fellow film buff who had never seen it. He watched it three times in one day. This remains one of the most impacting and beautiful films I have ever seen. Seeing it on Blu-ray was an emotional experience. The inclusion of The Only Son in the package only makes it all the more enticing. Despite the inherent damage marks this gets our highest recommendation. It should surely get many votes for Blu-ray of the year.

 - Gary Tooze

***

 

ADDITION: May 2006 - Criterion 2-disc: I have also reviewed the Criterion separately with more DVD screen captures HERE.

As with the Forbidden Games, The Virgin Spring, La bęte humaine and other recent 1.33 aspect ratio releases by Criterion (as well as, from the past, Nanook of the North) the image has been 'pictureboxed' to overcome 'overscan' on commercially made tube television sets (overscan can be up to a 15% loss of image and this is significant!). Pictureboxing leaves a black border around the edge of the image and most players automatically zoom-in to fill the screen - it limits resolution making the image slightly less detailed than it might be able to achieve. The benefit of pictureboxing is that it adds more visible viewing area so that the majority of DVD purchasers (most people own and watch through tubes) can see even more of what is on the negative - the way the film was meant to be viewed. DVDBeaver feels that equipment invariably improves at a much lower price and much faster these days and catering to people with inferior equipment can easily come back and haunt you when the hardware climate advances (it is doing so monthly). I'll wager that tube TV's are selling at at much lower rate than other viewing systems these days. We feel you will own your DVDs (especially your Criterion DVDs) much longer than you will own your current viewing system - I say this is true for myself having just purchased a plasma TV today! (I will still own my Criterion DVDs long after this brand new television is in the trashcan). The overscan problem associated with tube TVs can be corrected relatively inexpensively (incremental zoom DVD players, HTPC viewing, even some TVs now can zoom out to compensate etc.). In the early days of DVD, Criterion justified issuing non-anamorphic DVD editions feeling that player down-conversion was poor. DVDBeaver also feel this was an error on their part although this new issue has many sides - it is still up for debate and we welcome opinions. I see that a petition has been created HERE to encourage Criterion to dismiss this practice.

Criterion have done some extensive cleaning of the dirt and debris prevalent on the existing available master but some vertical scratches are still noticeable, often appearing highly visible (see bicycling capture below). The Criterion is very bright and sharp with superior black levels than we have seen to date. I believe they have meticulously manipulated both contrast and blacks by hand in certain scenes. This raises the perceived sharpness of the image and it DOES look better. Our condemnation of this practice of altering original masters, is really a form of restoration. Deepening the black levels which may have faded over time and brightening spots that are clouded with dirt and debris is acceptable as long as it is not a blanket approach. In, example, the Panorama - the image was brightened, but not in segmented areas - but through the entire film - and this is not appropriate. The trouble with digital manipulation is that it can bring to the surface some usually hidden defects (like scratches and blemishes). If the film is relatively intact the digital improvement has a valued effect - much akin to detailed restoration. The Criterion, pictureboxed and with warts and all, is still the best this film has looked for a very long time and the best image of Ozu's masterpiece on DVD.  

To be fair to the Criterion, I have reviewed it separately with more screen captures HERE.

The commentary is excellent from what I have heard so far. I will report in detail tomorrow.

The second disc is Wim Wenders 90 minute Tokyo Ga. Wenders travels to Japan in search of the Tokyo seen in the films of Yasujiro Ozu. A fitting documentary for fans of Ozu and the film.

***

ADDITION: August - 2005 - No. The Bo Ying is not the edition that we were all seeking and hoping for. I honestly wasn't expecting that it would be but tempered with my love for the film I was forced to 'give it a try'. It is non-progressive and shows some minor combing like the Panorama edition. Going from memory, I think that the subtitles are a slight improvement over the Panorama, or possibly they are the same. Regardless, the font used seems to break-up with 'jaggies' and makes it hard to read at times (see sample below).

What I do think is correct about the Bo Ying is the brightness level. It appears to fall somewhere between the brightened Panorama and the darker Tartan (see last large capture as example). Another problem with the Bo Ying is fluctuating contrast - it's quite bad in the beginning, as are the scratches, but it does settle down somewhat as the film progresses.

The Bo Ying also has moments of great clarity where the contrast is spot-on and the image shows detail of depth and texture. It's quite strangely inconsistent, but is a positive indication of what the image can look like. I suggest that Criterion are dragging their heels a bit on this one, but I'm sure there is a reason.

BOTTOM LINE: - All three editions have flaws, but the lesser of all the evils is the Tartan with the unconverted NTSC->PAL transfer. Unlike the other two it is progressive and easily has the best subtitles in both appearance and translation. It also has the best extra feature although on this disc of the Boxset it is limited to a 'Photo Gallery'. Criterion will eventually win this horserace although they are starting late. Let's try to be patient.

 - Gary Tooze

***

This Tartan Ozu Boxset (also includes Early Summer and Tokyo Story) has some problems and I am especially greatly disappointed that they did not convert the NTSC masters they had to PAL- very lazy DVD production. Good contrast on this Late Spring edition and it is marginally sharper than the Panorama. It, of course, has far superior subtitles (The Panorama are fraught with spelling and grammar errors). There is some brightness boosting in the Panorama as well as a greenish/grey haze. The Tartans are just not satisfactory with the NTSC->PAL issue. Criterion should eclipse these easily with their eventual NTSC release.

 - Gary Tooze

Once again a stunning image, completely spotless, but very soft and dark, lacking sharpness in details, especially in long shots. Based upon the restored Shochiku masters, it is a NTSC to PAL transfer, thus suffers from ghosting, even though it rarely is noted.

As note in the Tokyo Story comment, the final product notes on too many excuses. When one releases something as central in film history as the “Noriko Trilogy”, everyone eyes targets it, and people will be more critical than usual, because of the legacy of the films. As such, the production simply has too many excuses to be acceptable. Granted, we critics often take a production for granted, never realizing the problems involved, and they probably had a deadline for Christmas sales and some boss said no to postponing it, but there are too many hiccups production wise here, too many excuses, and regardless of a, what I personally think is, beautiful image and presentation, this is too flawed a product.

- Henrik Sylow

 


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Menus

(Criterion - region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

 


Criterion - Region 1- NTSC- Disc 2

 


(Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Bo Ying - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Tartan (Ozu Volume 1: The Noriko Trilogy) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Panorama - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray captures

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Damage

 

1) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 331

Region 1 - NTSC

Bo Ying

Region 0 - NTSC

Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Panorama
Region 0 - NTSC

BFI

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection Spine 331

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

 Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion Blu-ray




 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...