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Café Lumière (2003)
"Kôhî jikô" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  September 2004 (Japan)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,048 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 25 user | 55 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

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Title: Café Lumière (2003)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yo Hitoto ...
Yôko
...
Hajime Takeuchi
Masato Hagiwara ...
Seiji
Kimiko Yo ...
Yôko no keiba
Nenji Kobayashi ...
Yôko no otôsan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Keiichi Asada
Yukio Endô
Yôko Hoshi
Mikiko Kakizawa
Hiroko Kumada
Kikutarô Mitobe
Sumiko Mitobe
Masaru Motegi
Hiroko Ninomiya
Yasuko Ogata
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Storyline

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Drama

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Release Date:

September 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Café Lumière  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is Hsiao-Hsien Hou's first film to be shot in Japan. See more »

Soundtracks

Bagatelles, Op.8
Composed by Wen Ye Jiang
Performed by J. Y. Song
See more »

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User Reviews

 
homage to Ozu
13 June 2009 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

One needs to watch carefully and attentively this film which is not easy, but reserves a lot of interesting and beautiful things, despite a lack of story or actually despite the story not being in the focus of the director. It is a reverence by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien to the Japanese master director Ozu on the 100th anniversary of it's birthday. However, it is not a film of quotes, but rather a travel to research what is left of Ozu's world in the Japan of today, and the connection between Taiwan and Japan in the world that was once Ozu's.

There are a lot of trains in this film. This passion for railways may be taken from Ozu, but in 'Cafe Lumiere' about third of the film happens in trains or railway stations. A memorable sequence describes the universe of metropolis with trains entering and exiting tunnels, another shows in a computer generated drawing an universe of trains, squeezing a minuscule uterus and a child - maybe the expected child of Yoko, the principal character of the film, or maybe symbol of fragility of our existence in the modern world.

Another fantastic scene of cinema presents the house of Yoko's parents at her arrival. We can see just Yoko's mother in the last plane preparing food in a lit kitchen, then the kitchen is framed by the house guest room, which is at its turn framed by the doors and external walls of the house. Then the sound of a car is heard, and we more guess than see the arrival of Yoko and her father reflected in a glass door. Four planes in the same frame, with no move of the camera.

The story is minimalistic, and whoever looks for action risks to be deeply bored. The actors perform so well that the word 'perform' is not not adequate here, they live the characters. They seldom interact, they never stare in each others eyes, but rather look in different planes, same as the trains movements never intersect. They do however care for each other, and the story is a delicate one of familial solidarity and deep friendship in a world that may look frightening. These characters could have been part of a film by Ozu.


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