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Japan, 1962 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Yasujiro Ozu

The late Yasujiro Ozus last work An Autumn Afternoon shows his method at its most completely formal. A gentle story about a widower's decision to marry off his only daughter; the director turns a lovingly malicious eye on ultra modern Japan where golf is the thing; where women are still bartered in marriage, yet rule their men with tongues of fire; where the American way of life gives rise to rueful bar-room speculation about what might have been had the US lost the war...

In the meticulously constructed script, which in Ozu's eyes is the most important part of the film, every scene is dependent on every other scene for its meaning. Each sequence like the entry of a new subject in a sonata, is developed and counterpointed with the other themes already introduced. An Autumn Afternoon takes us into the heart of the director's world, revealing its nostalgia, its resignation, serenity and beauty.

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