2015 Japanese film “Sweet Bean” screens 18th March

Barossa Film Club is screening 2015 Japanese drama “Sweet Beam” on Friday 18th March at Barossa Arts Gallery, Tanunda, commencing at 7.30 pm. Directed by Naomi Kawase and starring Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase and Kyara Uchida. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
There is little salt to balance out the sugar, yet the Sweet Bean remains delightful. A conventional tale about a few misfits teaching each other about life conforms to a certain narrative mould, but is elevated by Naomi Kawase’s delicate direction and sublime images. Middle-aged Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) mans a pantry-sized shop in Japan selling dorayakis, a snack of red bean paste caught between two pancakes. The shop’s few patrons are a trio of schoolgirls, chatty and harmless, and another more pensive named Wakana (Kyara Uchida, magnetic). Sentaro sports the uneasy glare of a man who seen too much, speaks very little, and has no friends. This changes gradually and drastically when he reluctantly hires the 76-year-old Tokue (Kirin Kiki), but only after sampling her home-made bean paste; Sentaro has long grown used to committing the sin of purchasing a pre-made version in bulk.
Tokue teaches her new boss – a title she proudly relishes on him – to get up before the sun to simmer the beans and coax out their flavour by talking to them. An eccentric old lady she is. With a hunch and dawdle, glasses and bonnet, she is a cute grandma-type, full of vague wisdom and rough past to match Sentaro’s . In the beginning she’s someone to be laughed at, and even annoyed with, but be careful. This senior citizen who waves excitedly at sakura blossoms and stares off into the distance might draw you in without notice.
The film will screen on Friday 18th March, commencing at 7.30 pm, at the Barossa Regional Gallery. The side door off the carpark will open at 7 pm. Entry is free for members and membership is obtainable at the door. Because of covid restrictions, pre-reservations are essential by ringing Front of House Allan Pearce on 0417002708 or emailing allan_jill@bigpond.com