Friday, January 8, 2021

Your Wedding, My Funeral

 An Autumn Afternoon (1962) - Ozu

Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 6.04.56 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 6.23.14 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 6.33.25 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 6.46.41 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 6.46.46 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 6.51.17 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 7.00.23 AM Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 9.13.15 AM From a pure aesthetic point of view, with symetry of the frames in both interior and exterior sets, boring but exact shot/reverse shot in dialogue scenes, perfunctory movement and gestures of actors, An Autumn Afternoon is not disimilar from Jacques Tati films. But just as with all Ozu films, it's about changing times and its effects on family - mutual guilt, regret, loneliness, nostalgia, melancholy. Also it's a good reflection of the recently minted materialist society - industrial factories with smoke stacks, golf clubs, designer handbags, household gizmos. And they all but overshadow real human emotions. Its that none-emotiveness, holding-backness and the boomer humor leaves a bad taste in my mouth. An Autumn Afternoon is supposed to be wise and poignant observation on fleeting human life, like all Yasujiro Ozu films are. And in a way it is. An old salary man is afraid of losing his daughter by marrying her off. She is 24 and not getting any younger. If he does, he will be alone and lonely. She doesn't say anything out of duty as a daugther because father knows best. The film is way too geriatric for me to appreciate it more.

Someone once mention that if the cinema survives for ways in the future and got discovered in some sort of archeological digs by our descendents or aliens from outerworld discovered it in a cosmic dust, without recognizing its language, what the future men or aliens will get out of it is perfunctory human activities - walking, in transit (car, train etc) and eating & drinking. If they dug up and saw An Autumn Afternoon, what they will mostly see is men eating and drinking, a lot. I mean, the amount of drinking scene in this movie far surpasses any Hong Sangsoo movie I've seen. It's too bad that Ozu had no interest in actually showing what they are eating. I'd like to have known that.