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Equinox Flower (彼岸花, Higanbana) is a 1958 color Japanese film directed by Yasujirō Ozu. The film is based on a novel by Ton Satomi. The film won the 1958 Blue Ribbon Award for Fujiko Yamamoto's performance as Best Actress.

Equinox Flower
Higanbana
Higanbana.jpg
Studio still showing from left: Ineko Arima, Fujiko Yamamoto and Yoshiko Kuga
Directed byYasujirō Ozu
Produced byShizuo Yamanouchi
Written byKōgo Noda, Yasujirō Ozu
Based onnovel by Ton Satomi
Starring
Music byTakanobu Saitō
CinematographyYuharu Atsuta
Edited byYoshiyasu Hamamura
Distributed byShochiku
Release date
September 7, 1958[1]
Running time
118 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese

PlotEdit

Wataru Hirayama (Shin Saburi) is a wealthy Tokyo businessman. When an old schoolmate Mikami (Chishū Ryū) approaches him for help concerning his daughter Fumiko (Yoshiko Kuga), who has run off owing to a conflict with her father, he agrees. Finding her in a bar where she now works, he listens to her side of the story. Fumiko complains that her father is stubborn, insisting on arranging her marriage, whereas she has now fallen in love with a musician and is adamant to lead life her own way.

One day during work, a young man named Masahiko Taniguchi (Keiji Sada) approaches Hirayama to ask for the hand of his elder daughter, Setsuko (Ineko Arima). Hirayama is extremely unhappy that his daughter has made wedding plans on her own. He confronts her at home and says that she must not go to work until she sees the folly of her ways. Hirayama tries to find out more about Taniguchi from his subordinate.

Owing to the standoff, his daughter's friend Yukiko (Fujiko Yamamoto) tries a ruse in which she asks Hirayama's opinion concerning a similar situation – her mother forcing her to marry someone she didn't like. When Hirayama advises her to ignore her mother, Yukiko reveals it is all a setup and states that Hirayama has just given his consent to Setsuko's marriage.

Despite the ruse, Hirayama remains unchanged and Hirayama's wife Kiyoko (Kinuyo Tanaka) accuses her husband of being "inconsistent". Even his younger daughter Hisako (Miyuki Kuwano) is on the side of her sister, finding her father too old-fashioned. Finally, after the couple's insistence on getting married, Hirayama decides to give in by attending his daughter's wedding.

After the wedding, Mikami reveals that he, like Hirayama, has agreed to let his daughter select her own marriage partner. After going for a short business trip outside Tokyo, Hirayama decides to visit the newly-weds at Hiroshima by train, where Taniguchi is stationed by his company.

ProductionEdit

It is Yasujirō Ozu's first film in color while Japan's first color film, Keisuke Kinoshita's Carmen Comes Home, had been released in 1951. Ozu chose Agfa film from Germany over Kodak or Fujifilm, as he felt that it conveyed red colors better. The meaning of "equinox flower" or "higanbana" of the title is the red Lycoris.

CastEdit

ReleaseEdit

Critical receptionEdit

Equinox Flower garnered 88% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.4/10.[2] Dave Kehr praised the film as "gentle, spare, and ultimately elusive, in a quietly satisfying way."[3]

Equinox Flower received four votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of the world's greatest films.[4]

Home mediaEdit

In 2011, the BFI released a Region 2 Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray + DVD).[5] Included with this release is a standard definition presentation of There Was a Father.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "彼岸花 (Higan-bana)" (in Japanese). Kinema-Junposha.Co.Ltd. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Equinox Flower (1958)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Kehr, Dave. "Equinox Flower". Chicago Reader. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "Votes for HIGANBANA (1958)". British Film Institute. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "DVD & Blu-ray - Shop". filmstore.bfi.org.uk.

External linksEdit