...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

August 06, 2007

Café Lumière - 7

This film was made as an homage to Japanese writer/director Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (which I've just added to my movie queue) by Taiwanese director Hsiao-hsien Hou. It is a reflective film about a young woman's learning what it means to be an adult. Yoko (Yo Hitoto) is back and forth to her parents house, the train stations, Cafe Erika, and a book/music shop where she is researching a jazz pianist. She also has conversations about books and dreams and recording train sounds with bookshop worker/friend Hajime (Tadanobu Asano, Last Life in the Universe). She also reveals to her parents that she is pregnant and not intending to marry the father. The parents are worried for her, but the generational gap separates them from honest conversation. The film has both the feel of Yoko's loneliness, as well as her self understanding and peace about life and the choices she has made. While the film lacks a simple narrative structure and moves slowly with Yoko as she lives here daily life, the film is beautiful none the less.
Hat tip to Gideon and Tala for the recommendation.


Gideon Strauss said...


Anonymous said...

Very cool to see that you enjoyed this one. I wasn't quite enraptured with this one, but that's largely because Hou doesn't let so much material remain unstated in the rest of his work(though it works here as a tribute to Ozu). Hou's Three Times is also worth your time.

And it's criminal that you haven't seen any Ozu, though you'll want to prepare for a slow pacing (though still great) film.


~greg said...

My review of Three Times is here. I didn't find it as enjoyable, although there are similarities. Hou's films require the right timing I think, slow but thoughtful.