Essential Big Screen 2023
Screening Dates
  • December 16, 2023 8:45
  • December 26, 2023 6:00
  • December 29, 2023 4:00

Exquisitely moving and truthful … Anyone who has ever seen even one of his films would probably recognize An Autumn Afternoon as his work within a minute or so, so idiosyncratic, consistent, and bold is his signature style.”

Geoff Andrews, Sight and Sound

December 2023 marks Ozu’s 120th birthday and 60 years since his death (on the day he turned 60). We commemorate the occasion with a reprisal of the director’s sublime valedictory film, now regarded as a fitting final summation of his supremely serene, deceptively simple, and always rewarding work—“the last panel in that great fresco which so completely captures Japan as it is” (Donald Richie). An Autumn Afternoon—the Japanese title translates literally as The Taste of Autumn Mackerel”—tells a gentle, familiar, intensely autumnal tale of a widower (played, suitably, by Ryu Chishu, Ozu’s chief male actor since 1930) who arranges the marriage of his devoted only daughter (Iwashita Shima), and then must face the fact that he is aging and alone. As elegantly composed and achingly tender as any of the Japanese master’s films, An Autumn Afternoon is one of cinema’s fondest farewells” (Janus Films).

In Japanese with English subtitles

Stylistically it’s one of Ozu’s purest, most elemental works … [A film of] unique serenity and beauty.”

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

It took hold of me. It wouldn’t let go … For me An Autumn Afternoon is among his best.”

Paul Schrader, Film Comment