Café Lumière



IMDb Rating 6.9 10 2,673


Downloaded times
October 12, 2020


Tadanobu Asano as Hajime Takeuchi
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
948.93 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
108 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.72 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
108 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 / 10 / 10

A transitional work but still Illuminating

Acutely observed and exquisitely realized, Hou Hsiao-hsien's 16th film, Café Lumiére, is a loving tribute to the great Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu on the centenary of his birth. The film, the first by Hou to be shot in a foreign location, pays homage to Ozu by depicting themes repeated in many of his films: relationships between aging parents, the marriage plans of a grown child, the coming and going on trains, and the quiet contemplation of everyday life. The style, however, is still unmistakably Hou, with its long takes, extended silences, and focus on mundane conversations. In one scene inside a tempura shop, the camera simply observes people coming and going for several minutes while we hear the sound of plates clattering, and food being fried. Yo Hitoto is Yoko, a young Japanese writer who is researching the life of a real Taiwanese musician Jiang Wen-ye, who was popular in Japan during the 1930s. Yoko was raised by her uncle in Yubari but lives in Tokyo with her father and stepmother. She becomes friends with Hajime (Asano Tadanobu), the owner of a secondhand bookstore and they meet often in her favorite coffee shop, making small talk and enjoying the passing scene. He is a train buff who spends his days riding the subway, recording the sound of trains, public address announcements, and the conversations of passengers. Though they are best friends and not lovers, he is startled to find out that she is pregnant by a Taiwanese whom she does not want to marry. Yoko's father (Nenji Kobayashi) and stepmother (Kimiko Yo) urge her to marry though her father is uncommunicative in spite of his wife's best efforts to get him to open up. Oko's uncertainty about her parents demands for marriage is reminiscent of Late Spring, An Autumn Afternoon, and other Ozu films on this subject. Café Lumiére pace is deliberate, painstakingly detailed, and without much narrative thrust but it may be the film that Ozu would have made if he lived in the modern age. Beautifully shot by Lee Ping-ping, the film allows us to view the world the characters inhabit, providing extraordinary details of Tokyo life including outlying districts such as Jimbocho, known for its many bookstores, and Kishibojin with its look of old Tokyo. Millennium Mambo may be considered minor Hou and Café Lumiére, transitional Hou but whatever category it is placed in, Hou's work, for me, is illuminating and unforgettable.

Reviewed by adrian-193 6 / 10 / 10

Cafe Lumiere, and trains passing in daylight

This little film has all the treatment and feel of a low-budget indie production, but it's actually directed by well known Taiwanese director Hsiao-hsien Hou, commissioned by Japan for the 100th anniversary of Yasujiro Ozu birthday. And it's a perfect homage to Ozu, "more Japanese" than a Japanese film could have been (notes one commentator). Partway through this film I noticed something strange about the relations between actors. I don't think there's a single reaction shot in this film. Certainly no use of the shot-reaction shot technique that's conventionally used by film makers to get across how actors feel about each other. Shot: actor's attention directed to another actor. Reverse shot: other actor's face gives away the relationship between the two. The shot/reverse shot technique seems to work so well, I think, not so much because it's hard to put two actors on the screen at the same time, but because we (audience) relate uniquely to the face and emotion of a single face, and it's that--the film's relationship to its audience through the camera, which places the audience in relation to actors on the screen, that motivates an emotional response in the viewer that's always different with one face on screen than with two or more. Cafe Lumiere contains no shot/reverse shot sequences. In fact the actors don't make eye contact. And this decision, conscious or not, creates a film in which its characters are always in a scene. Even when they are alone together in the smallest of bookstores, we are given a scene and not a relationship. The camera's still disposition to scenes, urban and interior, captures a landscape of objects and places through which the trapped love of our two lead characters journey in pursuit of a way to connect. Their affections for each other play like muted horns amidst a jingle of train station announcements and contemporary piano movements, there but not together. They are like two passengers, at times on parallel trains (and this is the film's crucial scene), traveling in the same direction but separated by the window panes (pains) through which they direct their looks in a longing to collapse the space between the tracks, able to make the journey, but not together. Beneath the film's unfocused care and tenderness is the story of Yoko's adoption, her pregnancy, and her decision to repeat her own past by bringing up the child without a father. And her friend's (non-lover's) silent yearning, "at the edge," as he puts it in one scene, pictured in a rendering of his own (yes the actor actually made that drawing) as a lonely fetus (perhaps crying, he notes) in an eyeball surrounded by trains and tracks, alluding of course to suicide, preoccupied with a passion for recording trains and their sounds in order to capture evidence (he notes, and does he mean, of his death, should he join his trains on the tracks?)... This is a great little film about hesitation and the desire to overcome it, a film that leaves open the possibility of redemption and which attaches it to the younger generation, who in their innocence and freedom might stand a better chance than the bound generation that brought them into the world to begin with.

Reviewed by Meganeguard 6 / 10 / 10

Shadow and Light

Directed by one of Taiwan's most acclaimed directors, Goodbye South, Goodbye, Flowers of Shanghai, Millennium Mambo, but filmed entirely in Japan and in the Japanese language, Café Lumiere is a tribute for the 100th birthday of one of Japan's most famous directors: Ozu Yasujiro. Renowned for his use of shadow and light and unmoving cameras, Ozu's films mainly concentrated on the internal struggles of families inside there traditional, often spacious, homes where not only did the hidden tensions between family members come to the surface, but also the care and affection, albeit subdued, that the family members hold for each other. In this 2003 film, Hou Hsiao-hsien attempts to capture Ozu's celluloid landscape with his own camera, but how successful is he? A writer, Inoue Yoko has just returned home to Japan from Taiwan where she continued her research on the Taiwanese composer Jiang Wen-ye. Suffering from nightmares on her trip, she calls her friend Hajime, Asano Tadanobu, the proprietor of a used bookstore, and tells him of her nightmare about a baby whose face began to melt like ice. Later she travels to the quiet confines of the bookstore to pick up a couple of books and CDs Hajime acquired for me. Yoko then spends an inordinate amount of time wandering Tokyo before going to see her father and stepmother. Almost completely silent, almost the only sentence uttered by Yoko while at home is that she would like her mother to prepare her some nikujaga, beef stew. However, that night, after her father has gone to bed, Yoko tells her stepmother that she is pregnant and that she does not plan on marrying the baby's Taiwanese father but instead that she intends to raise the child on her own. It is later revealed that she does not want to marry her boyfriend because he is a mama's boy whose mother still controls most of his life. With this information later revealed to him, Yoko's father becomes even more silent, and Yoko continues her day to day activities researching Jiang Wen-ye and enjoying the company of Hajime who helps her with her research while he continues his own obsessions of recording the sounds of trains. Although a bit vacuous, Café Lumiere is beautifully filmed. The interior of Hajime's bookstore, Yoko's apartment and family home, and the interiors of the cafes are stunning to behold because of the mixture of shadow and light. Hajime's bookstore has an almost claustrophobic comforting nature with its hundreds of books and dark wood. The characters come off as a bit empty, but this might stem from Hou's desire to create characters who are so absorbed within the interiors of their own beings that they chose to reduce their communications with the outside world. While a decent movie, Café Lumiere is definitely not a must see unless one is either a major fan of Hou Hsiao-hsien or maybe Asano Tadanobu.

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