Monday, July 25, 2011

AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON (Yasujiro Ozu, 1962)

***½
Japan
Ozu's company is always warm, nourishing. But for a man who spent more than a decade making the kind of searching, contemplative, quietly revelatory films each of which feels like a perfect swansong, his eventual final film feels a little.. well, limited. The problem isn't so much that this story (of an elderly patriarch contemplating the crushing loneliness that will follow once his daughter marries off) feels distinctly familiar. It's that the internalised transcendence that hangs over his greatest films is missing here.

Or maybe it was just missing for me. In any case there is still plenty to savour here, not least Chishu Ryu's reliably graceful, grounding presence in the lead role.

Ozu was preparing to make another film when he passed away. You wish he got to make at least a few more in colour. In the end colour turned out to suit him surprisingly well.

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