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Yasujiro Ozu, 1957
Japan | Japanese with English subtitles | Format: Restored DCP | 118 minutes
Stern, workaholic businessman Hirayama (an outstanding Shin Saburi) denounces the unromantic arranged marriage his parents imposed on him, yet recoils in anger when his own daughter, Setsuko, decides whom to marry without consulting him. Accused of being inconsistent, he angrily protests: “Everyone is inconsistent, except God. The sum total of inconsistencies is life!” With this ambivalent, seemingly hypocritical patriarch, Ozu fashions one of his most memorable characters: a sad, remarkably dour paterfamilias of conflicted impulses stubbornly clinging to preordained, conservative thinking in spite of his own better judgment. Ozu’s first full-fledged comedy in over 20 years, the gorgeously shot Equinox Flower was also his first film in color. Though he remained steadfast in opposing widescreen, which to him resembled a “roll of toilet paper,” Ozu took to color with great enthusiasm.