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Directed by Yasujirō Ozu

Japan 1962 112 mins.

One of the finest final films of all time, Yasujiro Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon follows a template familiar to Ozu-heads: an aging father, long widowed and with adult children who want to get on with their own lives, grapples with modernity and new societal ideas that fly in the face of traditions he holds so dear. Chishū Ryū, an Ozu regular and one of the key faces of mid-century Japanese cinema, delivers an exceptional performance as Shūhei Hirayama, a war veteran whose subtle allegiance to generational ideals are incompatible with his children’s (his older son is more concerned with consumer pleasures, and his daughter is ready to marry and start her own life). Oscillating deftly between broad comedy and melancholic chamber drama, An Autumn Afternoon is a beautifully-rendered portrait of a family at a crossroads.

Genres: Drama, Comedy

Appears in: Essential Cinema