The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Year Released: 1952
Married couple Mokichi (Shin Saburi) and Taeko (Michiyo Kogure) are a little tired of each other - he's busy at work in the Machinery Department, and she wishes he'd go far away from her (she calls him "Bony McBonehead") - while Taeko's niece Setsuko (Keiko Tsushima) is against her arranged marriage (she calls it "archaic"). When compared to the other pictures by Ozu, this is a bit thin (and drawn out): the marital bickering is just two people going through a small bumpy patch (which happens) and is easily resolved, while Setsuko's defiance ends up working out in her favor. It is still nice to have a visual reminder of how Japan was transitioning at the time and Western values were slowly leaking in: women were getting a little more moxie and reading presumably racy "translated books" (Henry Miller, maybe?). As for the title, Mokichi says that's what a 'marriage should be like' - getting hitched in America these days is more like The Flavor of Wild Turkey Out of a Used Ashtray.