September 14, 2023/ 7:30 PM - 12:00 PMThe End of Summer (小早川家の秋) with An Autumn Afternoon (秋刀魚の味)
Yasujirō Ozu in Color: The Final Six Films
Special guests: Introduction by Matsuura Kanji, Filmmaker and Founder of The Ozu Yasujiro Institute, and Miyamato Akiko, Film Researcher and Professor.
The End of Summer (小早川家の秋)
Yasujirō Ozu’s sole film for Toho, the Japanese studio responsible for the Godzilla film series, was also his penultimate, and for the studio’s stable of performers, including comedic actor Hisaya Morishige and kaiju genre regular Akira Takarada, their one chance to work with the legendary filmmaker. A delicate blend of tragedy and comedy as experienced by a family unit unsettled by a foolish father's romantic whims, The End of Summer is also a grounded reflection on grief. The film marks beloved actor Setsuko Hara’s (1920–2015) sixth and final movie with Ozu; she would retire shortly after the film’s completion with credits in nearly 100 titles.
DIRECTED BY: Yasujirō Ozu. WRITTEN BY: Yasujirō Ozu, Kōgo Noda. WITH: Ganjirō Nakamura, Setsuko Hara, Yoko Tsukasa, Michiyo Aratama. 1961. 103 min. Japan. Color. Japanese. 35mm. Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation.
An Autumn Afternoon (秋刀魚の味)
Legendary actor Chishū Ryū (1904–1993) appeared in 52 of Yasujirō Ozu’s 54 films over their decades-long collaboration. For Ozu’s final film, Ryū plays the widowed father of three adult children who feels obligated to arrange his youngest daughter’s marriage. The film's Japanese title, The Taste of Sanma, evokes the fish typically consumed as fall transitions into winter. Seasonal change was a matter of fact for Ozu, and his late-career output turns that fact into a kind of poetry: the film’s final words, spoken by Ryū, are one of the most lyrical endings to any film, and an unparalleled career, as one could possibly imagine.
DIRECTED BY: Yasujirō Ozu. WRITTEN BY: Yasujirō Ozu, Kōgo Noda. WITH: Chishū Ryū, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada. 1962. 113 min. Japan. Color. Japanese. 35mm.
Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation.
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