Late Autumn / A Mother Should Be Loved DVD+Blu-ray
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Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Produced in 1960
Main Language - Japanese with English subtitles
Mike Bartlett is running out of superlatives for Ozu's extraordinary films, but this is a supreme masterpiece, he says. And it's paired with Ozu's silent melodrama, A Mother Should Be Loved.
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.
Michael Bartlett on 11th May 2011
Author of 25 reviews
When nostalgia about college days inspires a group of middle-aged businessmen to match-make for the widow of a friend - played with measured dignity by Setsuko Hara (Tokyo Story) - and her daughter, they have no idea of the strife their careless interference will cause. Late Autumn's examination of familial upheaval moves effortlessly from comedy to pathos and is amongst the finest of Ozu's postwar films.
Also included here is surviving version of Ozu's moving silent drama A Mother Should be Loved (1934). Missing both first and last reels, the incomplete film nevertheless achieves a dramatic intensity in its portrayal of a young man struggling to deal with a disturbing family secret. It is presented with an alternative, newly commissioned, score by composer Ed Hughes.
Length: 129 mins
Cat No: BFIB1073
Format: DVD+Blu-ray Colour
- 2 discs
- Dual Format Edition
- Transferred from best available film elements to High Definition
- Newly commissioned score for A Mother Should be Loved by composer Ed Hughes
- Fully illustrated booklet with a newly commissioned essay by Asian cinema expert Alexander Jacoby
- New and improved English subtitles.