Sanma No Aji - An Autumn Afternoon

"Drinking makes people talk to much." Shuhei

"Drinking makes people talk too much" Shuhei

☆☆☆☆☆ Masterpiece

Sanma No Aji - An Autumn Afternoon (1962) is a beguiling Japanese cinematic masterpiece.

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu.

Starring Chishu Ryu, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada among others.

An Autumn Afternoon was Yasujiro's last film and his most technically precise, especially with the modern addition of full color. Ozu's film reminds me of Kim Ki Duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter And Spring in that both directors meticulously film every object and character is in perfect harmony with each other and their surroundings, as if they are achieving the Chinese symmetry of Feng Shui. If you look closely at each object in the background and foreground of every scene you will see the beautiful symmetry that the color film brings to life and how they help explain the traditions of the past.

In the scene below pay close attention to the foreground and background objects that talk of the past and how they contrast the modern dress of the men sitting in a classical Japanese way. Note how the sole woman in the scene is seated at another table apart from the men and her dress and her dialogue speak of the traditional ways. Also note how the men (who are the patriarchs of their respective families) are dressed in modern attire, yet speak of the traditions they were brought up in and how difficult it has been to modernize for the greater good for their children. The men take up the modern ways to provide for their families while the women keep the traditions alive at home. Yasujiro does all this subtle subtext throughout the film.

I might not understand as a western audience member the numerous details that Ozu places in each scene, but I grasp the duality that life presents in his film. Sanma No Aji (An Autumn Afternoon) should be in your life library. Enjoy!

Trivia - There is no camera movement in the film. Ozu used a static camera for most of his later films.