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Equinox Flower (1958)
"Higanbana" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  June 1977 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,521 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 25 critic

A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband.

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Title: Equinox Flower (1958)

Equinox Flower (1958) on IMDb 8/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shin Saburi ...
Wataru Hirayama
...
Kiyoko Hirayama
Ineko Arima ...
Setsuko Hirayama
...
Fumiko Mikami
Keiji Sada ...
Masahiko Taniguchi
Teiji Takahashi ...
Shotaru Kondo
Miyuki Kuwano ...
Hisako Hirayama
...
Shukichi Mikami
Chieko Naniwa ...
Hatsu Sasaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôko Chimura ...
Nurse
Ureo Egawa ...
Schoolmate Nakanishi
Gazan Hasegawa
Aiko Ikumi ...
Inn maid
Kentarô Imai ...
Station attendant
Masahiko Inoue ...
Station attendant
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Storyline

A business man is often approached by friends for advice and help regarding marriage as well as family and romantic relationships. He is always very calmly and objectively able to give great insight and assistance to these particular situations. However, when it comes time for him to be objective regarding his oldest daughter, he finds it very difficult... Written by Karl Engel <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Higanbana  »

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(Agfacolor)
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Trivia

This was Yasujirô Ozu's first film in color. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Life and Works of Yasujiro Ozu (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pick up my clothing, woman
18 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

User reviewer Martin-f has an excellent summary ("Ozu at the top his game", martin-f from United Kingdom, 24 April 2006).

'Equinox Flower' is an incredible example of film art. It is my favorite (so far) film of Yasujirō Ozu. Ozu is a daring filmmaker because he handicaps himself almost completely. All of his contemporaries were moving their camera (e.g., the spectacular single-shot opening of Orson Welles's 1958 "Touch of Evil"). Ozu refuses to.

Ozu also refuses to provide dramatic subject material besides family arguments over whom a young girl marries. He also frequently has the camera on the floor looking up at his characters when they are seated, which is often. The actors are never allowed to veer off script, which often is banal dialogue. Finally, most of Ozu's imagery appears like a painting. This is Ozu's first color film; he makes quite a remarkable splash in this medium.

This is regarded as a comedy/romance. We should also say it concerns Japanese manners and patriarchy. We often see in Ozu's films a husband returning to the home from work, removing layers of his clothing and dropping them on the floor for his dutiful wife to take care of. (If Western males tried this there would be Hell to pay.) We see it multiple times here, and this husband/wife interaction helps identify the power relationship between big CEO and patriarch Wataru Hirayama (Shin Saburi) with his wife Kiyoko (Kinuyo Tanaka). At the film's opening when Wataru makes an impromptu speech at a wedding, he insults Kiyoko by publicly lamenting forced marriages like the one he had. Needless to day, Ozu does not plan on Kiyoko enduring these insults forever. She turns out to be a formidable rival.

There are three other young women. The woman playing daughter Sesuko's friend is great (i.e., who plays the pivotal trick on Wataru). She has a great role and she plays it very well.

Finally, Ozu's visual aesthetics are very well chosen and delightful. If you have the patience for 'Equinox Flower', it is very worthwhile.


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