CANNES CLASSICS – An Autumn Afternoon: a chronicle of Japanese customs

Yasujiro Ozu © RR

An Autumn Afternoon (Sanma No Aji), directed in 1962, was the last film to be made by Yasujiro Ozu, one of the masters of Japanese cinema. It has been restored by the Japanese studios Shochiku for the 110th anniversary of the director’s birth.


Shuhei Hirayama lives with his daughter Michiko. The example of one of his teachers, who blames himself for having made his daughter unhappy by keeping her with him, pushes Hirayama to find a husband for his own daughter.

This simple story allows Ozu to address his favourite themes – fear of solitude, family, the gulf that divides generations – and also offers viewers a window onto the traditions and customs of his country.

Also evident are the key elements of the Japanese master’s style: the famous tatami shots, filmed at floor level, the long static shots and very graphic photography.

Unfortunately, the work of this great Japanese filmmaker was not discovered in Europe until after his death. In 1978, An Autumn Afternoon, as well as Tokyo Story and Late Autumn were simultaneously released in French cinemas. SInce then, his work has continued to be watched and discussed, influencing numerous filmmakers, such as Wim Wenders, Aki Kaurismaki and Hou Hsiao Hsien.

Lisa Revil

Thursday 23rd May / Buñuel Theatre / 4.30 p.m.
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