Sight and Sound - 06/01/2005
"Hou weaves a remarkably dense filigree of connections between these motifs; a great deal goes on beneath the film's placid, uneventful surface."
Uncut - 07/01/2005
"Hou somehow cuts deep into the human heart."
Hou Hsiao-Hsien, one of China's greatest filmmakers, honors the memory of the great Yasujiro Ozu in the beautiful CAFÉ LUMIERE. Like Ozu, Hou tries to capture honesty and reality in the film, which stars pop idol Yo Hitoto as Yoko, a young woman who makes her way through life almost casually, not letting anything get her too upset or too excited. She regularly visits Hajime (Tadanobu Asano) at his small bookstore, where he orders books and CDs especially for her; she has a particular interest in the Chinese composer Jiang Ewn-Ye. She returns home to visit her stepmother (Kimiko Yo) and father (Nenji Kobayashi), who care about her and love her but never take interest in her life. In fact, the characters in the film prefer superficial relationships, that may have some meaning but are not very deep. Yoko seems happiest, or at least most at home, when she's on a train, heading somewhere else; she's never quite content in the moment itself. Hou's film is gorgeous to watch, with long, well-framed shots featuring natural sound and lighting. The story plays out slowly, mimicking real life, with little artifice. There are no big crescendos or dirty secrets unfolding, just a charming, compelling tale about everyday characters doing everyday things.
Pop Stars |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical Release: OCTOBER 16, 2004 (NY)
This film was included in the 42nd New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.