An Autumn Afternoon

Overview

Director Yasujiro Ozu's final film, and a rare outing in color for him, continues his quietly observed explorations of family dynamics in postwar Japan. Frequent Ozu star Chishu Ryu plays Shuhei Hirayama, an aging widower whose three children each depend upon him in varying degrees. The eldest, Kazuo, who is married, is a spendthrift who purchases a new set of golf clubs, then hits up his indulgent dad for a loan to buy a refrigerator. The middle child, daughter Michiko, is a 24-year-old still living at home and ...
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Overview

Director Yasujiro Ozu's final film, and a rare outing in color for him, continues his quietly observed explorations of family dynamics in postwar Japan. Frequent Ozu star Chishu Ryu plays Shuhei Hirayama, an aging widower whose three children each depend upon him in varying degrees. The eldest, Kazuo, who is married, is a spendthrift who purchases a new set of golf clubs, then hits up his indulgent dad for a loan to buy a refrigerator. The middle child, daughter Michiko, is a 24-year-old still living at home and happy to be the domestic fulcrum between her father and her younger brother, Koichi, a willful teenager. Shuhei's conviction that Michiko isn't ready for marriage scares away a potential suitor in whom she is also interested. But the old man has a change of heart after a long drinking session with several buddies, who warn him that Michiko might wind up an old maid, trapped in the web of loneliness he knows all too well. He arranges a marriage for her, and she finds herself caught between her own desires and her duty to her father. The story ends on the late afternoon of Michiko's wedding day, as Shuhei returns to his home to face life on his own, resigned to the fact that his daughter's happiness comes before his own.
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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; ; Audio commentary featuring film scholar David Borwell, author of Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema; ; Excerpts from "Yasujiro Ozu and The Taste of Sake," a 1978 French television program looking back on Ozu's career, featuring critics Michel Ciment and Georges Perec; ; Theatrical trailer; ; New and improved English subtitle translation; ; Plus: A booklet featuring new essays by film critic Geoff Andrew and film scholar Donald Richie
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
No great director confined both his subject matter and technique like Yasujiro Ozu, and this, his final film, sums up so much of what makes that tunnel vision so eloquent. As in his masterpiece, Tokyo Story, and so many other films, Ozu observes, with an amazing blend of discretion and intimacy, the tangled relationships of Japanese families. His camera barely moves, remaining for the most part at the same level, not far above the floor. His editing is leisurely, and he frequently allows scenes to play out in real time. For all of the intense emotions in his stories, there are no confrontations; however, the flickerings of disappointment and resentment across the faces of his characters speak loudly enough. Ozu veteran Chishu Ryu is once again the kindly patriarch, indulging his married son, oblivious to his teenaged boy, and caught up in a relationship of mutual dependence with his daughter. He wants to do right by her, stifling any notion of her independence, only to reverse himself when he understands how selfish his actions are. The daughter is forced to take cues from her father, resigning herself (after a failed romance) to a happy domestic life with her father and younger brother, only to learn that she is to be married after all. Rather than frame this reversal as an act of hypocrisy, Ozu prefers to see it in gently ironic terms. A widower is forced to push away the one person in his life who loves him without demands or reservation. Even if Ozu didn't foresee this as his final film, it ends on a wonderfully elegiac note.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/2008
  • UPC: 715515031721
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Subtitled / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:53:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 39,332

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shima Iwashita Michiko Hirayama
Shin-Ichiro Mikami Kazuo Hirayama
Keiji Sada Koichi Hirayama
Mariko Okada Akiko
Nobuo Nakamura Shuzo Kawai
Chishu Ryu Shuhei Hirayama
Kuniko Miyake Nobuko
Teruo Yoshida Yutaka Miura
Michel Ciment
Daisuke Kato Yoshitaro Sakamoto
Kyoko Kishida The bar hostess
Georges Perec
Haruko Sugimura Tomoko
Eijiro Tono Sakuma, The "Gourd"
Technical Credits
Yasujiro Ozu Director, Screenwriter
Yushun Atsuta Cinematographer
Yoshiyasu Hamamura Editor
Kogo Noda Screenwriter
Kojun Saito Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Autumn Afternoon
1. Marriage Prospect [6:22]
2. Young Wives [7:11]
3. Household Needs [4:37]
4. Family First [2:13]
5. Reunion [10:09]
6. "Still Alive, eh?" [3:59]
7. The Gourd [5:21]
8. Torys Bar [4:46]
9. Private Affairs [2:48]
10. Needs and Wants [3:36]
11. Golf Clubs [9:34]
12. Alone [8:46]
13. Not Ready [5:32]
14. Help From Koichi [7:13]
15. Taken [3:56]
16. Meeting Arranged [4:41]
17. Bad Joke [4:34]
18. Wedding Day [4:24]
19. "A Funeral?" [6:55]
20. "I'm All Alone" [6:02]
21. Color Bars [:00]
1. Color Bars [:00]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Autumn Afternoon
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Commentary: On/Off
      Style Marriage Plot
      Parallel Locations/Parallel Lives
      Routines/Assimilation
      Mirror Imagery
      Editing and Staging/Nostalgia
      Humor/Maniacal Repetition
      Recombinant Motifs/Macrorhythms
      Musings On War
      "Consumer Itch"
      Golf
      Cinematic Space
      Avoiding Mundane Realities/Drunkenness
      Camera Height
      Editing Space/New Subplot
      Engaging Viewers
      The Michiko Mystery
      Playful Narration
      Opaque Until the End
      Increasing Sadness
      Ghostly Traces
   Excerpts From "Yasujiro Ozu and The Taste of Sake"
      Play
   Trailer 1
   Trailer 2
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
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