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cafE Lumiere

Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Regional Focus)

Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien

cafE Lumiere
In [Cafe Lumiere] Hou Hsiao-hsien has fashioned a superb homage to Japan's master filmmaker Ozu Yasujiro, incorporating some reverent references to his 1953 [Tokyo Story]. [Cafe Lumiere] is a delicately paced film that focuses on Yoko, a young Japanese journalist researching the life of an acclaimed Taiwanese musician. Yoko has a boyfriend in Taiwan to whom she has become pregnant, and the film is set over the early weeks of her pregnancy, reflecting on the rub between contemporary and traditional Japan as Yoko's parents struggle to understand her decision to raise her child alone. This finely wrought film is far more than this central narrative suggests; given equal weight are the intimate, contained world that Yoko has built for herself; her warm friendship with Hajime (Japanese superstar Asano Tadanobu); and her search for clues as to the life of the musician. Hou's overwhelming use of middle-distant shots places the viewer as observer, and his stunning urban landscapes and recurring motif of trains sets this personal story within the broader context of modern Japan.
D Hou Hsiao-hsien P Hideshi Miyajima, Liao Ching-sung, Ichiro Yamamoto, Fumiko Osaka S Hou Hsiao-hsen, Chu T'ien-wen WS Wild Bunch L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/104mins Hou Hsiao-hsien was born in Guandong Province, China, in 1947. His films include [Dust in the Wind] (1987), [Good Men, Good Women] (1995), [Flowers of Shanghai] (1998).

See also...

GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN

Based on a real-life love tragedy, Good Men, Good Women continues Hou's exploration of history from the ordinary citizen's point-of-view. To this he adds his new interest, pioneered in The ... More »

DAUGHTER OF THE NILE

In the last few years Hou Hsiao-hsien's films, (A Summer at Grandpa's '84, A Time to Live and a Time to Die '85 and Dust in the Wind '87) have reflected the considerable critical attention coming to ... More »

THE TIME TO LIVE AND THE TIME TO DIE

"Hou Xiaoxian's overwhelmingly moving film is at least 70% autobiographical: these are remembered scenes from his own mischievous childhood and near-delinquent adolescence, and the fact that he ... More »

A CITY OF SADNESS

ALL BAR ONE of Hou Hsiao-hsien's films have screened at previous Melbourne Film Festivals. This year, the Festival is proud to present Hou's most recent film, winner of the Golden Lion at last year's ... More »

THREE TIMES

Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien is certainly one of the greatest living filmmakers - and this new masterpiece acts as undeniable proof. It tells three love stories set in different eras; The ... More »

ZATOICHI

Zatoichi Japan'a variation on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which became Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars' Zatoichi is as good as, probably better than, Kill Bill.' -The GuardianWinner of the audience award ... More »

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