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An Autumn Afternoon (1962)
"Sanma no aji" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1964 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,427 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 52 critic

An aging widower arranges a marriage for his only daughter.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Shuhei Hirayama
...
Michiko Hirayama
Keiji Sada ...
Koichi
Mariko Okada ...
Akiko
Teruo Yoshida ...
Yutaka Miura
Noriko Maki ...
Fusako Taguchi
Shin'ichirô Mikami ...
Kazuo
Nobuo Nakamura ...
Shuzo Kawai
Eijirô Tôno ...
Sakuma, The 'Gourd'
Kuniko Miyake ...
Nobuko
...
'Kaoru' no Madame
Michiyo Tamaki ...
Tamako, gosai
Ryûji Kita ...
Shin Horie
Toyo Takahashi ...
'Wakamatsu' no Okami
Shinobu Asaji ...
Youko Sasaki, hisho
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Storyline

In the early 60's in Tokyo, the widower Hirayama is a former captain from the Japanese navy that works as a manager of a factory and lives with his twenty-four year-old daughter Michiko and his son Kazuo in his house. His older son Koichi is married with Akiko that are compulsive consumers and Akiko financially controls their expenses. Hirayama frequently meets his old friends Kawai and Professor Horie, who is married with a younger wife, to drink in a bar. When their school teacher Sakuma comes to a reunion of Hirayama with old school mates, they learn that the old man lives with his daughter that stayed single to take care of him. Michiko lives a happy life with her father and her brother, but Hirayama feels that it is time to let her go and tries to arrange a marriage for her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Autumn Afternoon  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yasujirô Ozu:  [Static Camera]  There is not a single camera movement in the entire film, as in many Ozu's last films. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A widower decides that his 24-year old daughter should leave him and marry
18 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"An Autumn Afternoon" is the first Ozu film that I've watched. Since the other reviews more than adequately describe the plot and the actors, I shall omit another summary, but I will mention that the acting was excellent all the way around. Instead I'll give some reactions.

I watched the 113m Criterion version. The subtitles were easy to read and the colors very rich. For a movie running nearly 2 hours, the time flew by. It never seemed slow.

I felt that, although Japanese cultural uniqueness pervades every aspect of the film, nevertheless the characters and themes are still universal. The film lovingly touches human issues of family life, and family life is something that most human beings experience, apart from children who are separated from family. It doesn't provide easy answers, however, to the problems of aging, death, mistakes, tragedy, loneliness, obligations and outworn social codes. It is apparent that money doesn't answer to many such problems.

The use of color and the compositions captured by the cinematography are very striking indeed. This design alone is a big plus. The red seems to mean passion, the senses, and also modernity. The two young women, one married, one not, both wear red at different scenes. This unites them, although the married one is more liberated and the unmarried daughter wants to be but doesn't express it.

By and large the movie shows interiors, and they are extremely neat, geometric and well-ordered. The film's orderliness communicates a constrained and ordered social life. While there is much human expression that is up front and blunt, nevertheless it has certain bounds and restraint. This is an amazing combination hard to fathom for someone outside the culture.

There are a few scenes that move away from the middle-class interiors to show poorer areas or the outside of apartment housing. Even in these cases, we see ordered constructions. It as if the Japanese were trying to structure an ordered society after the extraordinary chaos and devastation of their war experiences.

Several scenes have a sports-based emphasis (baseball and golf), and these express the American influence.

The men do a great deal of drinking, and they prize western scotch, like Johnny Walker Red. The message, not unique to Japan, is that modern man needs a release from various tensions of everyday life, family and work, and he finds it in drink.

When drink leads to inebriation, it's associated in the film with a degree of dejection, hanging one's head, and being alone as one character, the old school teacher, makes very clear. The main character, the father, who faces this prospect is drinking too heavily and he will have to overcome this. But we feel optimistic about this because he has an eye for a younger woman who runs a little bar.

The sailor who used to be on the father's destroyer also is ground for optimism. He came back to find his house burned down, but he borrowed and was able to build up his income.

He doesn't understand why Japan lost, and that is a very deep question not explored in the film. But it shows something common to most nations and peoples, which is insularity, an inability to see beyond one's own borders and even within one's borders an inability to see matters objectively because of exposure to biased history. The older and more experienced man, however, who suggests that it was better that Japan lost, may possibly have a deeper understanding of Japanese imperialism. Ozu and the script were perhaps too accommodating to America's victory, especially since the U.S. government egged Japan on to war.

I like Japanese movies a great deal. They are unafraid to delve deeply into matters of the human being and society.


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