Monday, January 25, 2010

#133 Sanma No Aji [An Autumn Afternoon] (1962)


Director: Yasujiro Yamanouchi
Cast: Chishu Ryu, Shima Iwashita, Shinichiro Mikami, Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Nobuo Nakamura

Whew. That was painful. Okay, so this is a 1960s Japanese film about a widower who is reluctant to marry off his daughter because he fears being alone. After an hour or so of watching him pour sake over various tables with friends, he is able to be convinced that unless he marries her off, she will be miserable. Due to the fact that he has waited so long, the man that his daughter loves has already become engaged to someone else, and she is forced to marry another man, arranged by her father's friends.

At the beginning, I was uber-intrigued by watching a 1960s Japanese household operate, but soon I become bored stiff of how ridiculously bad the acting was in this film. Seriously, seriously terrible. Also, every action in this film took about 10 years to play out. I think I watched drunk men pour 1,000 cups of sake, and every time the group laughed-- it came about after a pause of silence with all characters looking into the camera, as if they were waiting for the director to turn on the blinking red APPLAUSE sign. Terrible. With 10 minutes left in the film, I was literally yelling at my laptop, "COME ON, ALREADY."

Also, I realize it's 1960s and Japan, but the ridiculous way women were treated in this film was driving me to absolute ruin. Watching these women tottle around and answer the rude calls of the piggish men was actually really hard to take. I realize it's another culture, but it really was the presentation of it in this film. Perhaps if the purpose of the film had been to make a commentary on this behavior it would have been acceptable; however, the focus of the film was on the poor father grieving about having to be alone and take care of himself. (To which he says, "Sons are better. It's not even worth having daughters.")


Looking forward to seeing some better Japanese film-making. This was a huge let down and my first 1-star movie.

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