Mourning the Loss of the Ordinary. A Cavellian Reading of Ozu’s "Late Spring"

  • Jônadas Techio Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Keywords: Cavell, Skepticism, Ozu


This paper offers a reading of Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Spring (Banshun, 1949) focusing on its examination of the ordinary: its conditions, its structure, its dynamics, and its fragility. This reading is articulated by juxtaposing some of Stanley Cavell’s main insights concerning modern skepticism and its threat to the ordinary and their corresponding expressions in a series of representative sequences from Ozu’s film. In both cases the notion of mourning plays a central role. I close by establishing one additional parallel between Cavell’s and Late Spring’s interpretations of the ordinary, focusing on the absence of a wedding ceremony at the end of Ozu’s film.


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Philosophy of film without theory