In Paris two years ago, I saw a Japanese film called Cha no Aji, or The Taste of Tea. I went with my boyfriend at the time, and as the final credits started, I eagerly turned to him for his opinion (really, to confirm mine). With a shell-shocked look, he said, “That was so weird.”
“But great, right?”
“Yeah, definitely great…but weird.”
Suffice to say, it and Howl’s Moving Castle were my favorite films that trip.
Out of context, the clips below make the film look bizarre, which it is, but it’s also touching and lyrical. Read reviews at the New York Times, The Village Voice, Midnight Eye, The Reeler, Slant Magazine, & NY Asian Film Festival for more about the movie.
1) In this clip, sound engineer Uncle Ayano (Tadanobu Asano) grudgingly helps the grandfather and another uncle with a pet project. Asano, also in Ichi the Killer, is sometimes called the Japanese Johnny Depp.
2) Just a funny vignette.