Days of Youth

Yasujiro Ozu
Film // September 30, 2016

Days of Youth is a simple comedy, notable only for being Yasujiro Ozu’s oldest surviving film. It charts two friends from university pining for the same lady during a ski trip. It’s a light affair–this was before Ozu immersed himself in the existential crisis of family life. Many of the jokes relied on the dynamic between the two friends, a bookish, awkward fellow versus a more jockish, funny man. But perhaps more fascinating are the styles Ozu employs here; smoke stacks are used as motif, while his camera is often drawn to feet and walking. Film was still in its infancy and Ozu was still more pupil than master, but Days of Youth already showed signs of a precise director with a pulse on the human condition.