About a year ago I started binge-watching Yasujiro Ozu’s post-war domestic dramas. The cast of each film hardly seems to change from one film to the next, and the plots are all fairly simple, so it’s easy to get them mixed up.
Maybe my favorite from this group of films is An Autumn Afternoon 秋刀魚の味 (Sanma no aji / “The Taste of Mackerel Pike”), Ozu’s final film.
Like many of this series, the film is languorous, spending ample time on the visual details of architecture, place, lighting, and visual depth.
The gentle darkness of early evening…
After work drinks, perhaps in Ginza…
(In the second photo we see a sign, “TORYS BAR” – not sure if it’s 100% related, but there’s reference to a bar with the same name, located in Kamata, in Seicho Matsumoto’s serialized 1960-1961 novel, “Inspector Imanishi Investigates”『砂の器』 . TORYS may have been a chain from that time period.)
And surprisingly candid conversation about World War II (the Pacific War).
The urban fabric of trains and apartment buildings…
And the eternal struggle to find one’s place in this world.
And one last amusing detail:
Other films from Director Yasujiro Ozu:
- Early Summer (1951)
- Tokyo Story 東京物語 Tōkyō Monogatari (1953) – Quote: “What a treat to sleep in my dead son’s bed.“
- Good Morning 『お早よう』 (1959)
- Late Autumn 秋日和 Akibiyori (aka “A Calm Autumn Day”) (1960); advertising balloons can be seen from the top of an office building in Late Autumn; see post “Ad Balloons on the Ginza: Float, Young Advertisers! (1890-1989)“