Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2004
Japan/Taiwan | Format: 35mm | 104 minutes
Commissioned to mark Ozu’s centenary year, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s quietly breathtaking city symphony updates the Japanese master’s recurring concerns: the family in decline, the clash between tradition and modernity. Newly returned from a stay in Taiwan, the heroine wanders the Tokyo streets and rides the trains while researching a project on a modernist composer. Suffused with the pathos of contemporary urban solitude, this literal Tokyo story taps into the daily rhythms of the metropolis, seeming to capture the vibrations of its secret life.