Late Autumn / A Mother... View large image
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Directed by: Yasujiro Ozu

Produced: 1960

Countries & Regions: Japan

DVD+Blu-ray Details

Certificate: PG

Studio: British Film Institute

Length: 129 mins

Format: DVD+Blu-ray

Region: Region 2

Released: 23 May 2011

Cat No: BFIB1073

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Languages(s): Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Late Autumn / A Mother Should Be Loved

Cast: Chishu Ryu , Yoko Tsukasa , Setsuko Hara , Miyuki Kuwano , Shin Saburi , Nobuo Nakamura , Kuniko Miyake , Mariko Okada , Keiji Sada , Sadako Sawamura , Shinichiro Mikami , Ryuji Kita

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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

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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 memorial service of their friend, Miwa (Chishu Ryu), three of his old friends devise a plot to find a husband for his unmarried daughter, Ayako (Yoko Tsukasa). To their consternation, Ayako refuses to fall in with their plan, expressing a preference to remain with her mother, Akiko (Setsuko Hara). The three men all harbour a lifetime crush on Akiko but agree that one of them should marry Ayako, which causes conflict among both family and friends. Eventually, with the help of Ayako’s friend, Yukiko (Mariko Okada), Akiko and Ayako are reconciled, and Ayako concedes to marry according to the wishes of her elders.

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. 

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