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Taste of Tea (2004)

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Learn more about Taste of Tea:

Format: DVD
Sku: 204550048
UPC: 896911001041
UPC 14: 00896911001041
See more in Anime
A Film by Katsuhito Ishii.
Meet the Harunos, a rather unconventional family, but happy and loving nonetheless. They live in a small town in the mountains just outside Tokyo where life is good and quiet - but that doesn't mean they don't have their own little problems.

As 8-year old Sachiko tries to get rid of a giant version of herself who seems to pop up everywhere, her older brother Hajime privately wrestles with his love-struck heart. Meanwhile, their mother Yoshiko is working hard, coming out of retirement as an animator, as her husband and professional hypnotist Nobuo watches on with slight apprehension.

Yoshiko's brother, Ayano is just visiting his hometown and staying with the family, but also has a hidden agenda: he needs to come to terms with a romance that ended years ago. Even Nobuo's brother and successful manga artist Todoroki has his problems. It's his birthday soon and he wants to give himself something special. And lastly there's Grandpa, the most bizarre and perhaps the most perceptive of all, who continues to search for a better way to live life to the fullest.

""Weird but cool," as one character says -- yet the movie is also remarkably touching.  Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"...a modern Japanese variation on "You Can't Take It With You," with some lovely fantastical flourishes.  Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"...touching and funny, with charming calming as a hot cup of green tea.  V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Editor's Note
Director Katsuhito Ishii pays homage to Yasiujiro Ozu with this psychedelic twist on Ingmar Bergman's FANNY AND ALEXANDER. Revolving around an eccentric family, the film follows mom (an aspiring animator), dad (a hardworking hypno-therapist), their hormonal teenage son, and grandpa (who has ambitions of becoming a rock star). Meanwhile, the baby of the family, Sachiko, tries to escape the hauntings of a 60-foot ghost, and a visit from an uncle just adds to the general craziness.


Video Features DVD, Limited Edition

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Warner
Video Release Date Release Date: 7/31/2007
Video Play Time Running Time: 143 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2004
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 02
Video UPC UPC: 00896911001041
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 2

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: Japanese
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: Japanese
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Maya Banno
Video Cast Info Satomi Tezuka
Video Cast Info Tadanobu Asano
Video Cast Info Takahiro Sato
Video Cast Info Hilo Iizumi - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Katsuhito Ishii - Director
Video Cast Info Katsuhito Ishii - Writer
Video Cast Info Katsuhito Ishii - Editor
Video Cast Info Kazuto Takida - Producer
Video Cast Info Kosuke Matushima - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Tempo Little - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Yuji Tsuzuki - Production Designer

Professional Reviews

New York Times
"[A] droll and oddly touching film....The movie is a family portrait as painted by a moderately demented Cubist." 02/23/2007 p.E22 8 of 10
Get ready for a heavy dose of delightful Japanese whimsy. Clocking in at two hours and 15 minutes, The Taste of Tea is long, but it floats by easily, and it never slows down. The strange incidents, quirky characters, and weird non-sequiturs just keep coming. The imagination of writer/director Katsuhito Ishii seems limitless...Many critics have pointed out that with its long takes and scenes of the most humble moments of domestic life, The Taste of Tea is a sort of trippy tribute to the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, who is known as the master of capturing Japanese family life on film. Maybe so, but that's just one of many, many layers to this sweet-natured comedy, which just keeps on shambling along until its various plot threads start to tie together in time for a bittersweet finale that features, among other things, a sunflower that blossoms to the size of a galaxy. The Taste of Tea is pure pleasure. Pour yourself some green tea, and take it all in. - Don Willmott 9 of 10
A laidback, obscure, and slightly overlong comedy depicting one summer in the life of a lovably oddball family in a rural part of Japan is Katsuhito Ishii's answer to the naysayers who righteously labeled him a Tarantino clone for his previous efforts (Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl and Studio 7), which were hip, noisy, fast-paced, and overall pretty annoying. What a pleasant surprise that Ishii finally seems to have found his own voice. His 2004 film The Taste of Tea is a mellow character study that seems to have more in common with the films of Yasujiro Ozu than with those of the American enfant terrible...Subtle gestures (sometimes enhanced with surreal CGI effects) by a talented ensemble cast reveal a great deal about the Harunos and their various states of mind. The Taste of Tea is a film that celebrates the small joys of life, and it does so in a way that's both engaging and understated. - Rudy Joggerst

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Banno,Maya
Product attributeLabel:   Warner Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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