As part of the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Yasujiro Ozu, Hou Hsiao-hsien has made a real Japanese film, without himself speaking a word of Japanese, with two Japanese stars (Asano Tadanobu and Hagiwara Masato). Café Lumière, a film about family bonds, loneliness and history, was made in the spirit of Ozu, right down to his preference for trains and train sounds, but at the same time it is a beautifully photographed, typical 'Hou'. Freelancer Yoko (the acting début of pop idol Yo Hitoto) lives in Tokyo and is researching the Taiwanese-Japanese composer Jiang Wen-ye (who was known in the 1930s, but whose music is now regaining popularity). After a working visit to Taiwan, she goes to her parents, where she announces incidentally that she is pregnant. In Tokyo, she spends a lot of time with Hajime, who sells second-hand books and in his spare time is a lover of trains - a passion he shares with Ozu. Slightly uprooted, Yoko and Hajime roam this metropolis that has changed completely since the 1930s, when the composer Jiang was there, and that barely offers them anything recognizable. Without introducing much dramatic development in the action, Hou provides a very sharp picture of contemporary big-city life in Café Lumière. In this mysterious film about urban loneliness, about who you are and where you come from, he adds unexpected depth to the uprooting. (GT)

Original title
Kohi jikou
Filmmaker
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Premiere
-
Country
Japan
Year
2004
Medium
35mm
Length
104’
Language
Japanese
Producer
SHOCHIKU BROADCASTING CO., LTD., Miyajima Hideshi, Liao Ching-sung, Yamamoto Ichiro, Osaka Fumiko
Sales
Wild Bunch
Writer
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Editor
Liao Ching-sung
Cast
Asano Tadanobu