An Autumn Afternoon (R/I)

Dir: Yasujir� Ozu





An Autumn Afternoon, about to be reissued by the BFI, is a must-see for both devotees of and newcomers to the great Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu.

This was Ozu’s last film, and as such, appears to bring together his distinctive film style with all of the major themes of his previous work (parents and children, tradition, loneliness) in a visually precise, multi-layered and in the end, deeply moving family drama.

Tokyo in the early 1960s. Widower Hirayama (played by Ozu regular Chisu Ryu) is a factory manager who lives at home with his son Kazuo and daughter Michiko, both in their early twenties. His older son Koichi is already married to Akiko, a progressive young woman and the couple have become typical consumers in the new world of post war Japan.

Hirayama regularly meets up with old friends who have themselves embraced some modern trends and who see that he continues to be looked after by his daughter. After a number of drinking sessions with his friends, Hirayama resolves to set his daughter free in her life by arranging a marriage for her…

“Ozu is one of the greatest artists to ever make a film… From time to time I return to Ozu feeling a need to be calmed and restored. He is a man with a profound understanding of human nature, about which he makes no dramatic statements. We are here, we hope to be happy, we want to do well, we are locked within our aloneness, life goes on. He embodies this vision in a cinematic style so distinctive that you can tell an Ozu film almost from a single shot. He films mostly indoors. His camera is at the eye level of a person seated on a tatami mat. The camera never moves. His shots often begin before anyone enters the frame, and end after the frame is empty again. There is foreground framing, from doors or walls or objects. There is meticulous attention to the things within the shot.”
Roger Ebert

IMDB film page

Criterion Collection trailer

Booking Information



Release Date

16 May 2014

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