The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
Directed by: Yasujiro Ozu
Friday, September 10 - Sunday, September 12, 2010
“THE FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA OVER RICE looks as much like a social history as it does a classic Ozu work… essentially a comedy, what the Japanese call a tsuma-mono, or wife film, about an upper-middle-class marriage, one that has been arranged in the old-fashioned way and now is falling gently apart as the childless couple approach middle age.
“She (Michiyo Kogura) gives every indication of being a rather mean-spirited snob. Among other things, she sleeps apart from her husband in an awful American-style bedroom that seems to be constructed entirely of chintz.
“However, he (Shin Saburi) gives every indication of being as thickheaded and boring as she says he is.
“That is, at the beginning. The revelation — the surprise — of the film is not that they are eventually reconciled, but that they become such appealing characters, touched by a kind of nobility…
“The world of this film is more geographically open than those of the other Ozus, but the economy of narrative and technique is practically quintessential. Ozu never wastes our interest on connecting scenes if we can take them for granted. When he does show us a man proceeding, say from one office to another, it becomes important, perhaps as an acknowledgment of time lost or as a sort of film equivalent to the white space between the chapters in a novel.” – Vincent Canby, The New York TimesNR, 116 Minutes, Japanese with English subtitles