Taste of Tea

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Product Overview

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.


Studio Warner
SKU 204550048
UPC 896911001041
UPC 14 00896911001041
Format DVD
Release Date 7/31/2007
Family (General)
Family Interaction
Family Life
Non-U.S. Theatrical Release
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
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.
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
Katsuhito Ishii
Satomi Tezuka
Tadanobu Asano
Takahiro Sato
Cast & Crew
Hilo Iizumi - Executive Producer
Katsuhito Ishii - Director
Katsuhito Ishii - Writer
Katsuhito Ishii - Editor
Kazuto Takida - Producer
Kosuke Matushima - Cinematographer
Maya Banno - Actor
Satomi Tezuka - Actor
Tadanobu Asano - Actor
Takahiro Sato - Actor
Tempo Little - Original Music By
Yuji Tsuzuki - Production Designer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2004
Catalog ID 02
UPC 00896911001041
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 143 minutes
Color Color
Original Language Japanese
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks Japanese
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
ReviewSource FilmCritic.com
Review 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.
Reviewer Don Willmott
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review 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.
Reviewer Rudy Joggerst
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Limited Edition
Product Attributes
Actor Banno,Maya
Label Warner Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader "Weird but cool," as one character says -- yet the movie is also remarkably touching.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune ...a modern Japanese variation on "You Can't Take It With You," with some lovely fantastical flourishes.
V.A. Musetto, New York Post ...touching and funny, with charming performances...as calming as a hot cup of green tea.
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