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An Autumn Afternoon - Criterion Collection
An Autumn Afternoon - Criterion Collection
Actors: Shima Iwashita, Daisuke Kato, Kyoko Kishida, Shin-Ichiro Mikami, Kuniko Miyake
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2008     1hr 53min

Yasujiro Ozu's final film is also his final masterpiece, the gently heartbreaking story of a man's dignified resignation to both life s ever-shifting currents and society's gradual modernization. Though widower Shuhei Hira...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Shima Iwashita, Daisuke Kato, Kyoko Kishida, Shin-Ichiro Mikami, Kuniko Miyake
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Creators: Yushun Atsuta, Kojun Saito
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/30/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1962
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 53min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Sublime Swan Song
Rajesh Balkrishnan | Winston-Salem, NC United States | 12/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ozu's final masterpiece is a such a wonderful way to end one of the most distinguished careers in filmmaking. Chisu Ryu is once again superb as a lonely widower trying to grapple with giving away his only daughter in marriage. Although the film runs the gamut of familiar Ozu themes, you never ever tire of the Ozu trick of a "good two hours spent with your neighbors". His beauty of filmmaking, which is drenched in simple joys of everyday living makes him one of the greatest humanists of world cinema, along with Ray and Renoir. Put simply, this film is "stunning visual poetry". This is an absolute "must have" for all you Ozu fans out there, and recommended for all lovers of world cinema."
Ordinary people, extraordinary film-making
Rajesh Balkrishnan | 06/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some have called director Yasujiro Ozu the poet of the everyday. Most of his films deal with ordinary people leading ordinary lives. But what is not so ordinary is Ozu's ability to capture the essence of human relations. His characters seem so real to us, because they are reflections of ourselves and the people we know. In Ozu's final film, Samma No Aji (which literally means "the taste of mackerel"), a widower knows his only daughter must eventually leave home and marry. We watch, as he tries to deal with his growing sense of isolation and loneliness. He becomes nostalgic for the good ol' days. He hangs out at a bar run by a woman who reminds him of his late wife. A popular World War Two song, Gunkan Machi (Warship March) pervades the film. In contrast to this, his married son and daughter-in-law represent the new Japan. They are more concerned about material things like golf clubs and new appliances. There are sad moments in this film, but funny ones as well. One of my favorite scenes takes place in the bar. The widower, who was a naval officer during the war, and a former shipmate are talking. The shipmate says if Japan had won the war, American women would now be wearing geisha-like wigs and chewing gum while playing the shamisen (a Japanese musical instrument). There is no melodrama in this movie, just an honest portrayal of family life and human relations. And it's that honesty that makes watching an Ozu film such a memorable experience."
The Taste of an Autumn Mackerel........
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 07/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was Yasujiro Ozu's final film. Is it phenomenally different than other Ozu works? Is it a film that takes Ozu in a radically different direction? No. It's just the final chapter in one of the most unique filmographies in cinema history. It's like all his other films, in that it's contemplative, beautiful, moving, serene, and simple, yet, it feels new and unique. Ozu's films, if taken all together, are like a long novel, all leading up to this one, which ended up being the final chapter (even though Ozu did not intend it to be that way). Many say that a filmmaker just keeps remaking the same film all his/her life, and with Ozu that may be true. A friend of mine criticised his aesthetic because of this, but whenever I watch a film of his, I feel so alive and peaceful. Ozu's plots are often the same with minor variations, yet, I am watching a great artist paint another portrait in film, and I don't feel that Ozu is repeating himself at all. Despite the differences between the films, the films all feel unique and gentle. They are filled with a deep humanism, and they are all knowing and filled with that eternal longing.

This film has a deeper sadness that Ozu's other work. It also has some very funny comedy, and may I say, even a bit dark for an Ozu film. There is also some bitterness to the characters, a little more tart than other Ozu films, but also that deep humanism as well. There are some really moving scenes here, especially when we see the daughter in her wedding gown, and the final shot of the film (and the final shot of Ozu's career) where Chishu Ryu sits down in a darkened kitchen, alone.

The transfer of the film is a little grainy at times (probably due to the source material), but the film is still very watchable. There are 2 trailers (and they feature Ozu himself directing the film), a fascinating excerpt from a French TV show about cinema (with Michel Clement, the famous film critic), and commentary (which is your standard, film professor type boredom).

The original title of this film was The Taste of an Autumn Mackerel, which doesn't really translate well into English. The American title is An Autumn Afternoon, and it's a much better title for the film. It's a great, wonderful film, a worthy final chapter to one of the greatest, most unique directors in cinema history.

Ozu's Final Masterpiece
Rajesh Balkrishnan | 10/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I love Ozu's films. He seems to be one of the few directors to create a style that his and his alone. He seemed to be having a good time with this one - developing humor between many of his characters - the businessman and the old war veteran at the bar. His characteristic still life images are wonderful as well, even plying an occasional trick on the viewer. I love this film - and I hop you get a chance to see it"