An Autumn Afternoon (1962)

One of the most mature and eloquent voices in cinema, Yasujiro Ozu capped off his astoundingly consistent and insightful career with this paradigmatic masterpiece, in which traditional and contemporary Japanese values “agree to disagree” over a good-hearted widower and his grown daughter, whom he has decided must get married. Ozu was a master, and his films are surpassingly rich with humanity and respect, but although he was always patiently observant of the physical world (he pioneered the use of “still-lifes”—cutaway images of unoccupied space used as counterpoint to the quiet turmoil of the characters’ lives), only An Autumn Afternoon has a distinctly seasonal ambiance. Here the Tokyo autumn is glimpsed only in spare, koan-like tidbits—but in Ozu’s sphere, the season is always as tangible a reality as the fifty flavors of heartbreak that marinate his stories.

Cover of "An Autumn Afternoon - Criterion...
Cover via Amazon

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