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Best movie of 2005? See it finally at the Grand Illusion!

The import Japanese DVD of Taste of Tea was considered by many on the Scarecrow staff to be one of the best films we received in 2005, and ranked by the national critics poll, Take 7, as one of the best undistributed films. Thankfully it has finally found a North American home through Viz pictures who have been touring a 35mm print of the film around, and will eventually release a DVD for the Region 1 market. The film has been garnering mostly positive reviews (note the 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) from such prestigious institutions as the New York Times, so I won't attempt to review it here, but simply recommend checking it out at the Grand Illusion (starting Friday April 27th). The Stranger's own Charles Mudede unfortunately gave the movie a lukewarm review, saying, "it could have been a perfect picture," and criticizing the film for being overly digressive. (I might remind readers here that Mudede wrote a movie that contains stories culled from his "Police Beat" column and loosely strung together to questionable effect...). Snarkiness aside, I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree. I would certainly call the pacing leisurely and unconventional, and the narrative is definitely "loose," but thematically everything jives. Would you criticize something such as Fellini's Amarcord for being too tangental? That's kind of the point right? Sure it's not going to be studied by Lit grad students like The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, but it's also a lot more enjoyable, modern, and Japanese. Okay? So basically, if you enjoy movies and having a good time, you should get out to the Grand Illusion to see this while you can. It's much better than anything else that's currently playing at the megaplex, and even its detractors agree that it's damn near perfect.