Friday, 5 February 2010

The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice - Filmhouse - 5/2/10

I have an anecdote that I tell whenever I'm around people who are new enough not to have heard it but so new that they would be horrified by it. It concerns food poisoning and a transatlantic flight. I don't know you well enough to say any more than that.

The thing is that I tell this anecdote in exactly the same way every time I tell's more of a rehearsed audition piece than a piece of spontaneous reminiscing, nothing ever changes and for the people who have heard the tale before (often more than once) it raises a wry smile and polite laughter at the right moments but it doesn't surprise them in any way.

The ability to tell the same story and make it unique, surprising and delightful in equal measure is impossible...unless you are Ozu of course because here, again, we have his ruminations and observations on the same themes; marriage, love, loyalty and the changing nature of Japanese society. Again though he brings something new to the story with strong female characters making life difficult, awkward and uncomfortable for the males...highlighting the changing face of Japan in the post-war years and the increasing influence of Western culture.

This is the sixth film from Ozu that I have seen since the start of this year and as each one has passed I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with his work and with the world he presents. I can only hope that at least one person reading this manages to watch something by Ozu on the back of my ramblings and discovers the same joy and wonder I have from them.

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