Directed by: Yasujiro Ozu
Countries & Regions: Japan
Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 129 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 23 May 2011
Cat No: BFIB1073
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Late Autumn / A Mother Should Be Loved
This Japanese comedy drama by Yasujiro Ozu, based on a novel by Ton Satomi, is a reworking of his earlier film ’Late Spring’. At the... Read More
As the BFI's series of Ozu releases continues, it becomes harder and harder to find new superlatives for these extraordinary films. Suffice to say, Late Autumn is one of the supreme masterpieces in a whole clutch of masterpieces.
The story is simple - a mother is pressured by the people around her into marrying off her only daughter and thereby ensuring a lonely life for herself in the future. But Late Autumn works on a whole series of different levels – there's a genuinely tense plot as misunderstanding builds on misunderstanding, lots of wry humour, mostly at the expense of three interfering businessmen whose interest in the marriage really arises from their youthful lust for the mother, and a genuine sense of loss, as two people are pulled apart by the dictates of society. As such, it becomes something only Ozu could pull off – a 'light-hearted tragedy'. And with its exquisite colour cinematography, it is also his most visually ravishing film.
It's paired with an early melodrama, A Mother Should Be Loved, in which a woman becomes distanced from her stepson when he discovers she is not his true mother.