An Autumn Afternoon



“Yasujiro Ozu’s exquisitely tender and sad final movie, An Autumn Afternoon, from 1962 – now rereleased – is filmed in soft colour. The critic must hesitate before invoking the cliche ‘watercolour’, although the final scenes are likely to be watched through a swimmy blur of tears. Ozu’s great repertory player Chishu Ryu plays Shuhei, a gentle and reticent widower, who is effectively being looked after by his beautiful, unmarried daughter, Michiko (Shima Iwashita). Michiko’s somewhat dopey younger brother also lives at home, expecting, like his dad, to be waited upon hand and foot, while an older brother has married and gone away. Shuhei goes to a school reunion with his office chums, where the appearance of an old teacher shocks him: this ageing schoolmaster has become a somewhat embarrassing drunk, reliant on a daughter who shows every sign of becoming an embittered spinster. Shuhei heeds the warning, and embarks on the task of marrying Michiko off; in the face of her embarrassed resistance, his campaign is tragicomically painful and maladroit. Father and daughter are each set on sacrificing their happiness for each other….It is a film in a superbly composed minor key.” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

1962 Dir. Yasujiro Ozu 1.37:1 Color dcp 113 min. In Japanese with English subtitles.