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Archive for October 30th, 2009

after life 1

(Japan 1998 119m) DVD1/2

Aka. Wandafuru Raifu

Memories are made of this

p  Shiho Sato, Masayuki Akieda  d/w  Hirokazu Kore-Eda  ph  Yamazaki Hiroshi  ed  Hirokazu Kore-Eda  m  Yasuhiro Kasamutsu  art  Toshihiro Isomi, Hideo Gunji

Arata (Takashi Mochizuki), Erika Oda (Shiori Satonaka), Susumu Terajima (Satoru Kawashima), Tsuyoshi Naito (Takuro Sugie), Kyoko Kagawa (Kyoko Watanabe), Kei Tani (Kennosuke Nakamura), Sadao Abe (Ichiro as young man), Taketoshi Naito (Ichiro Watanabe), Tori Yuri (Shoda), Yusuke Iseya (Iseya), Hisako Hara (Kiyo Nishimura), Sayaka Yoshino (Kana Yoshino),

It’s one of my unavoidable characteristics when I come to watch a film for the first time, that I uncover essences in it that remind me of other films.  Yet with Kore-Eda’s late nineties classic, After Life, it’s difficult to bring to mind any other film.  The only one that does come to mind is the Ealing drama The Halfway House, made in 1943 prior to release the following year.  And that in itself is a joyous coincidence as the year 1943 is pivotal to some of the crucial events of Kore-Eda’s film.

            The film is set in a sort of halfway house/way station where the recently deceased come to spend a week before moving into their own idea of eternity – literally their own idea, in that the purpose of the week is to give them time to choose one memory out of their lives in which to spend the rest of time.  It is down to the boss, Nakamura, his two counsellors Mochizuki and Kawashima, and assistant Shiori to let the current crop of departed – twenty-two in total – choose their way of spending their afterlife.  (more…)

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