Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Derek Malcolm Recommends Yasujiro Ozu's an Autumn Afternoon

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Derek Malcolm Recommends Yasujiro Ozu's an Autumn Afternoon

Article excerpt

FOR those brought up on the energetic and sustaining diet of the American cinema, it may not be easy to appreciate the quietist art of Yasujiro Ozu, whose 1962 film, An Autumn Afternoon, has been beautifully restored.

He has been called the poet of family life who steadfastly peers into the hearts and minds of his characters until we feel we know them intimately. Here, the chief figures are Michiko (played by Shima Iwashita) and her widowed father (the great Chishu Ryu). The devoted daughter seems to have left it late to get married, possibly because she wants to look after her father. Everybody, including a group of sakequaffing friends, tells him to let her go. It's a no-win situation for both of them and Ozu's poignant storyline, though not lacking in humour, tells it exactly like it is.

This was a difficult period in Japanese history, when old values seemed to be being displaced by the new, and that is why this highly personal film has its social and cultural importance too. …

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