When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »
A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant. Yumiko remarries and moves from Osaka to a small fishing village, yet ... See full summary »
In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his ... See full summary »
The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's ... See full summary »
Da-Nian is a young man from Taipei. He goes to a remote village and works as a substitute teacher. He and Su-Yun, another teacher at the school, fall in love. There are several students in ... See full summary »
The film was first conceived as a three-part anthology film, each segment directed by a different person, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu. However, the other two directors dropped out before filming started, and Hou decided to make the entire film himself. See more »
I am a complete stranger to the works of Hsiao-hsien Hou and Yasujiro Ozu, but I would like to give my opinion on this anyway.
Probably like me, strangers to the works of those directors will find this slow-paced, a little repetitive (with Yoko constantly getting on/off trains) and somewhat confusing in places.
However, watching it I noticed how simply human it was. Most films have a terrible dilemma, which usually are very much unlike real life. But this is a very simple film, in which in the dilemma is simply that she is three months pregnant but does not wish to marry the father of the unborn child. Very human.
Another way it was a very human hearted film was the relationships between her parents - who watch their growing daughter with concern slowly become more independent - and between her bookshop friend - having little chats in the bookshop, not going into deep conversation but having light-hearted chat.
It didn't have to be complicated, and that's what I liked most about this film. It was something to relate to.
This film is definitely a piece of art. Notice how the only soundtrack within the whole picture (music-wise) is Weyne's pieces (that is, during the film - there is a song during the credits). This brings more emphasis on the humanity of the film and the artistic camera shots used. It's a very poetic and serene film.
Cafe Lumiere probably means more to Hsiao-hsien Hou and Yasujiro Ozu fans than it did to me. But it was a sweet film and I'd definitely recommend it to those who just want something simple and quiet to watch.
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