Cha no aji

Cha no aji

The taste of tea

DVD - 2007 | Japanese
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The Harunos are a rather unconvential, but happy and loving family. Eight-year-old Sachiko is bothered by her own giant-sized double, who hangs around sitting on buildings staring at her. Her older brother, Hajime, privately wrestles with raging hormones and a love-struck crush on a pretty new classmate. Mom struggles to come out of retirement as an animator and Dad is a professional hypnotist who occasionally plies his trade on his own family. Throw in 2 uncles and an eccentric grandfather and there is a unique blend of a family tackling the universal themes of time, family and life.
Publisher: San Francisco : Viz Pictures, [2007]
ISBN: 9781934244029
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (143 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors (Original Script): 石井克人
Alternative Title: Taste of tea


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Feb 04, 2015

Hope springs eternal in Ishii’s long languorous daydream of a film that revels in life’s small joys and unspoken fears. The Haruno family live in a quiet pastoral village nestled between towering mountains and sun-dappled fields. It’s a place where being a misfit is the norm and people seem to have no more than a casual acquaintance with life’s harsher realities. While mother Satomi spends her days trying to restart her career as an animator, her psychotherapist husband Nobuo tries to lift people out of the ordinary through hypnosis. Meanwhile eldest son Hajime is experiencing his first tastes of love and heartbreak; little sister Sachiko longs to be grown up; and uncle Ayano is slowly coming to terms with a failed relationship. Each character sees the world filtered through their own personal dreams; whether it’s Hajime chasing trains that always seem to elude him or Sachiko constantly being followed by a huge version of herself which compounds her feelings of inadequacy. Then there’s Ayano who finds himself unable to cross the bridge that leads to his ex-girlfriend’s shop. Only grandfather Akira, eccentric and perhaps a bit demented, lives for the moment, relishing each day as if it were a precious gift. And throughout it all there’s the ubiquitous cups of tea that seem to be poured at just the right moment in order to bring the family together, soothe a jangled nerve, or welcome a weary guest. Ishii saturates each frame with fantastic imagery and a passion for his characters which, although sincere, never takes itself too seriously. Through the long sunny days and soft moonlit nights one feels an underlying sense of harmony at work which gives each person the courage to hope. There is a wonderfully layered look to his film, with separate narrative strands taking place in the foreground, middle ground and background, often simultaneously. If things occasionally move at a glacial pace it is only to allow us ample time to smell the many roses along the way.

Apr 06, 2011

Wacky, funny, smart, slightly experimental and heart warming without being too sticky-sweet.

Jul 09, 2010

Best mountain-related musical number I've ever seen!


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