DIRECTOR'S CUT / The feeling is in the peeling: Carl Franklin hails the simplicity in Ozu's Late Spring

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The Independent Culture
One of the strongest scenes I've ever seen in a film is in Yasujiro Ozu's Late Spring (1949). The main character is an elderly widower who has married his daughter off; he realises that he should, out of love, basically.

Ozu uses repetition in such a wonderful way. We've seen the man walk up to his house, from the same angle, about four times, with his daughter. She always peels an apple for him - you see them being mesmerised into this routine, this ritual. And finally you see the father going in by himself, peeling the apple himself, and dropping it. He never shows any emotion until that moment; he's been stoic throughout and has done a very good job of convincing the daughter that maybe he's in a new relationship of his own. But then, all of a sudden, you see it in the actor's face: he's totally laden with the fact that she is no longer there and will never be there again. If you're a parent it just breaks you up. It's a very powerful, simply constructed scene that gets right to the heart and rends you.

Carl Franklin's 'One False Move' is released on video on 11 August.

(Photograph omitted)

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