Wednesday, September 13, 2006

THE TASTE OF TEA - 茶の味 (Cha no Aji) - Yamayo

Ya-ya-yaaa, Yama yama yamaaa!

That's precisely what I heard one day playing in the background as I was looking at CD's in my then local Tower Records. I went to investigate and saw what is today's video. It was a promo DVD for Katsuhito Ishii's 2004 film, Taste of Tea (Cha no Aji). Up until this point, Ishii was know most for his violent
Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl films and to western audiences he is the man responsible for the dark animation sequence in Quintin Tarantino's, Kill Bill Volume One.

Here is
what Midnight Eye had to say about the movie:

"Here he is, back again with a feature film that is a radical change from the throwaway superficiality of his earlier work. The Taste of Tea is a rather delightful look at the eccentricities hiding just beneath the calm surface of ordinary life, touching, funny, imaginative and pleasantly low-key. Even if it is a bit long."

Ha, pleasantly low-key is right. I challenge you to watch this movie any time other than a Sunday afternoon. It's slow and it's quiet, it's like being stoned for 2.5 hours, but it's also poetic, pretty and poignant in all the right ways (wow, the 3 p's!). Having no luck trying to summarize the plot of the story, I'll say the movie is a slice of surreality that takes place with a family of animators in the countryside, north of Tokyo. The film stars Tadanobu Asano (husband of the coolest pop-star ever, Chara) who plays a record producer and is forced to help his father record the music in today's video.

Cha no Aji's wonderful soundtrack by
Little Tempo, really compliments the mood of the movie. Their drowsy arrangements featuring steel drums is just what the doctor ordered. I had known of the band since they came out with Musical Brain Food in 2003 and had read that they were doing the soundtrack for a film. I can't confirm or deny that they had any involvement with the 'killer track' you're about to hear!



Ishii's 2005 film, The Funky Forest seems to be the conceptual, if not literal sequel to Cha no Aji. Back are the same crazy characters, spiced up with some strange looking creatures. Check Twitch for a review!

Yamato (Oh Mountain)

Moun-Moun-Moun! Mountain Mountain Mountain! (x6)

Mountain!
Mountain!
Mountain!

Moun-ta-in!

Oh, my mountain, Oh my mountain,
The Mountain is alive!
Oh, my mountain, Oh my mountain,
The Mountain is alive!
Oh, my mountain, Oh my mountain,
The Mountain is alive!
The Mountain is alive!
The Mountain is alive!

(you get the idea...)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you got a miss spell one time. you wrote "yamato" (which have a strong history meaning) in place of "yama yo" (as it's a grammatical element I write it appart)

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