An Autumn Afternoon

In cinemas from 16 May 2014.

An Autumn Afternoon (1962)

An Autumn Afternoon (1962)

Now digitally restored, An Autumn Afternoon, the final film by the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu is one of his most touching works and, thanks to Yuharu Atsuta’s ravishing camerawork, one of his most beautiful.

Perhaps the most personal of Ozu’s treatments of a theme evidently close to his heart, this finds both elderly widower Shuhei Hirayama (the peerless Chishu Ryu) and his daughter Michiko (Shima Iwashita) entertaining decidedly mixed emotions about the prospect of her getting married and leaving her father to fend for himself. Typically, Ozu and his regular co-writer Kogo Noda deploy deliciously sly comedy in depicting Hirayama’s friends, a sake-quaffing chorus exhorting him to find Michiko a good husband before it’s too late, even as deftly balanced scenes of gentle melancholy highlight the difficulties faced by the pair in what is surely, however it may turn out, a no-win situation. As usual, Ozu’s tone is simultaneously playful and poignant, while everything – from the cherishable performances and the nuanced narrative dynamics to the quietly mischievous but significant positioning of reds within an otherwise muted pastel palette – benefits from his trademark blend of understatement and precision. Utterly exquisite.

Geoff Andrew


From 16 May
BFI Southbank

16-20 May
National Media Museum, Bradford

16-22 May
Irish Film Institute, Dublin

25 May
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith

27-28 May
Glasgow Film Theatre

30 May-5 June
Edinburgh Filmhouse

1 June
Art House, Crouch End

2-5 June
Showroom Workstation, Sheffield

3-5 June
mac, Birmingham

8-10 June
New Park Chichester

17-19 June
Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen

21-22 June
Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast

24 June
Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries

13-17 July
Cornerhouse, Manchester

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