A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead working on an animated film project at home. Uncle Ayano has recently arrived, looking to get his head together after living in Tokyo for several years. Meanwhile, Yoshiko's daughter Sachiko is mainly concerned with why she seems to be followed around everywhere by a giant version of herself.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ishii's first and second films were boisterous, flashy, colorful, and irreverent, but his mastery of editing, sound design, and narrative (not to mention the surprisingly touching romance at the heart of his debut, Sharkskin Man and Peach Hip Girl) suggested that behind all the fireworks is a real genius who truly loves and understands the medium of film, not just a flashy showman using his advertising experience to deliver 90 minutes of pretty looking entertainment. With Ishii's third film, the dreamlike, funny, occasionally absurd, and ultimately mournful Taste of Tea (best feature winner at the 2004 Hawaii International Film Festival) he tones things down a notch from his prior efforts and gets personal, telling the story of a single family rather than an ensemble of oddballs (though the family is admittedly a little weird). The result is wonderful. Touching, hilarious, beautiful, odd, and constantly surprising. If you weren't paying attention during some of the moving and humane "slow" parts of Sharkskin Man, you might be shocked that Taste of Tea is from the same stylish hipster who once told an audience not to treat his first film like a cultural artifact but just to "enjoy the idiots on screen." Like Pierre Jeunet with Amelie, Ishii has demonstrated with Taste of Tea that there's real substance to be found under all that style. Absolutely not to be missed.
21 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this