Red is the colour of the amaryllis flower (equinox flower), and red sets the mood in this first colour film by Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu.
The film takes us to a world where marriages are still arranged by the parents. But by 1958 everything is starting to change in Japanese society, and this is one of the customs that young people are starting to rebel against. Equinox Flower follows a businessman from Tokyo. Friends frequently ask his advice when their daughters reject an arranged marriage. In these cases he plays a reconciliatory and unbiased role, but when his own daughter shows up with a self-chosen candidate for a husband, he starts to feel that he might be losing her. And, maybe more importantly, a part of his own identity and some of his authority. A subtle struggle between father and daughter ensues.
Movie W is showing this digitally restored version of Equinox Flower as part of an Ozu-retrospective by EYE film museum. The film contains all the features of the master’s work including subtle observations of Japanese family life, often filmed from the perspective of someone sitting on the ground. A wonderful introduction to the work of this master of nuance.