In a distinctly contemporary Tokyo that looks backwards to the city’s disappearing past, Yoko is a writer investigating the life of a modernist composer of the 1930s. She is pregnant by a man she does not want to marry, and has found a kindred spirit in a used-bookstore owner who aids her research.
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Rich with gently iterative, dream-like doublings, and suffused with a pellucid, melancholy calm, this wryly recursive contemplation of the impulse(s) to research, represent, and do homage may be the peak of serene Hou. Or so watching this last night convinced me. Experiencing films like this one has got to be just about the closest approximation of mindfulness available to nervous dreck like me.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien rend là un bel hommage formel à Ozu. Non seulement on retrouve l'art du maître, mais également ses thèmes de prédilections : l'incommunicabilité familiale et sociale. Derrière l'errance urbaine et humaine de Yoko, dans ce Tokyo bien plus agité que ne l'était le Tokyo d'Ozu, HHH distille avec une grande économie de moyen une part de l'immuabilité de la vie. Magique.
Tribute to Ozu. Like all of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films, Café Lumiere denies the audiences the traditional comforts of movie-going. It's an aggressively minimalist and hauntingly provocative look at Tokyo and the overall drift of the world that’s slow to reveal its secrets and beauties.
I'm not familiar with the vernacular of Asian cinema, so I 'm not sure if I was able fully take this film in. That said, I enjoyed this understated work, full of sound, reflections of light as well as both comfortable and uncomfortable silences. The storyline woven together by scenes on, off and around Tokyo's commuter trains was a pleasant homage to the work of the Lumière brothers as well.