Equinox Flower (1958)

by guest writer

Equinox Flower represents Yasujirô Ozu’s first colour film and at the same time his first liberal comedy in more than 20 years. Colour gave Ozu’s predilection for visual jokes a new dimension. The movie offers a gentle indulgence of its older characters, but it doesn’t keep off from seeing its central patriarch figure in a sarcastic manner. One scene is indicative in suggesting this: Wataru Hirayama (Shin Saburi) walks into the living-room in his underpants extremely furious that he’s been disobeyed and he can’t do anything about it. Usually forced into doing the right thing, Hirayama is confronted with his own hypocrisy and duped by friends of the family and even by his wife.

The film opens with two distinctive scenes, without any people being present: the exterior of Tokyo Station and then the interior of the same place. The humour starts to feel its presence with the third shot when two station employees cynically discuss the large number of honeymooners traveling that day. Ozu’s style has another important characteristic, the cinematography. Typified by standard long shots on the waist level, the director’s movies create an intimate bond with the characters and at the same time a serenity that reaches a poetry status.

photo: still from the film; production credits

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