An Autumn Afternoon / A Hen in the Wind DVD+Blu-ray
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Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Produced in 1962
Main Language - Japanese with English subtitles
Chishu Ryu, Shima Iwashita
Paired with a significant extra in the form of Ozu's rare 1948 film, A Hen in the Wind, Ozu's final film is one of his most poignant and haunting works, says Mike Bartlett.
Ozu's final film, one of his most poignant and haunting works, once again explores the theme that obsessed him: the marriage of the daughter. This time, an ageing businessman is concerned that his child is pushing her own interests aside in favour of looking after him.
It's a film that's so gentle in its restraint that it's easy to overlook how it explores crucial flaws in modern Japan, from the legacy of a crushing defeat in wartime – beautifully summed up by a light-hearted musical interlude in a downtown bar – to the growing consumerism and Americanisation of society. The performances are so exquisitely controlled that a young woman bowing her head and the father's description of his friend as a “dirty old man” are moments that go off like gunshots, carrying an emotional charge that belies the aura of civility surrounding the characters.
The disc contains a significant extra: Ozu's underrated 1948 film, A Hen In The Wind, a surprisingly grim and uncompromising account of a husband rejecting his wife when he discovers she prostituted herself to survive through the War.
Michael Bartlett on 11th May 2011
Author of 25 reviews
Yasujiro Ozu's elegiac final film, An Autumn Afternoon, charts the inevitable eclipse of older generations by irreverent youth. Revisiting the story of his earlier masterpiece Late Spring (1949), Ozu once again casts Chishu Ryu in the role of a concerned father, Hirayama, to unmarried daughter Michiko. Harangued on all sides to marry off Michiko, Hirayama reluctantly prepares to bid his old life farewell. A cast of tragicomic characters weaves seamlessly through this gently satirical portrayal of life's inevitable, endless cycle.
Ozu's rarely-seen post-war film A Hen in the Wind (1948) is also included here. In a Japan recently devastated by WWII a devoted but near destitute mother waits for her husband s demobilisation. When her son falls seriously ill she turns to prostitution to pay his hospital bills.
Length: 113 mins
Cat No: BFIB1072
Format: DVD+Blu-ray Colour
- 2 discs
- Dual Format Edition
- Transferred from best available film elements to High Definition
- Contains previously unavailable full length feature A Hen in the Wind (1948) (DVD only)
- Fully illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned sleeve notes by Kyoko Hirano and Jonathan Rosenbaum
- New and improved English subtitles.