Film - Feature | January 26 | 8:15 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Coffee, Time, and Light is the original Japanese title of Hou Hsiao-hsiens gentle tribute to Yasujiro Ozu, which seamlessly weaves those three themes into a meditative look at loveor the absence of itin contemporary Tokyo. Living alone in the city, the strong-willed Yoko (pop singer Yo Hitoto) wanders its streets, coffee houses, and train stations, seemingly paying more attention to random sights than she does to conversations with her parents, with her main friend a just-as-quiet bookstore clerk (Tadanobu Asano). A city film that takes its power not from the bustle of urban energy, but from the quietude that one can still find within it, Café Lumière captures a certain kind of urban solitude experienced by those who are alone, but never lonely, with all of lifes wonderslike coffee, music, and lightaround them. Commissioned to mark the centenary of Ozus birththe film even opens with the old Shochiku logo of the erathis is not only a tribute to that great master, but a continuation of his works. The plot is spare, wrote Jonathan Rosenbaum, but the sounds, images, and ambience are indelible.