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Tiff 2017. Correspondences #9

  • MUBI
The Third MurderDear Danny and Fern,By the time you read this I will have already arrived back home, four days before Tiff's end. Attempting to cram everything into a shortened schedule was a struggle for me, but I’m very satisfied with what I’ve seen and those few people that I’ve met. I wish I could've stayed longer, and I hope to be back soon! As a newcomer, I found Tiff to be a welcoming space that merges the many fruits of Toronto-tourism, cinephile gatherings, and late night city walks. And many, many movies! Possibly too many, but better more than less! There were a few rough patches but they were more tied to my inexperience (forgetting to charge my phone, forgetting to check my schedule, forgetting to eat, forgetting to sleep…) than anything. The sheer magnitude of the event made even the easiest tasks feel like
See full article at MUBI »

The Best Movies About the Afterlife — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Movies About the Afterlife — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” what is the best movie about the afterlife?

Kate Erbland (@katerbland), IndieWire

It will come as no surprise to anyone that, as a child, I watched a lot of television. A lot. I was mostly obsessed with HBO — our single movie channel, number 2 on the dial; yes, my childhood TV had a dial, don’t ask — with intermittent deviations into mostly inappropriate mini-series (thus explaining my rarely disclosed expertise on “The Thornbirds”), and was pretty much given free range to watch whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted. This is why my favorite
See full article at Indiewire »

‘After The Storm’ Review: Hirokazu Kore-eda Only Makes Great Movies, But This Tender Drama Is One of His Best

‘After The Storm’ Review: Hirokazu Kore-eda Only Makes Great Movies, But This Tender Drama Is One of His Best
Hirokazu Kore-eda first established himself as a major filmmaker with a string of audacious dramas that included a harrowing portrait of modern poverty (“Nobody Knows”) and a transcendent vision of the great beyond (“After Life”). In recent years, however — at least since 2009’s “Air Doll,” a contemporary fairy tale in which Bae Doo-na plays an inflatable sex doll who comes to life — the great Japanese humanist has downshifted towards more openly sentimental slice-of-life stories, churning out low-key masterpieces with such regularity and deceptive effortlessness that it can be easy to take them for granted.

So when Kore-eda unloads another gently brilliant film full of characters so real and full of life that it feels as though could fly to Japan and visit them, it may not seem like much cause for celebration. But when one of those films is just the tiniest bit above his batting average, it’s enough
See full article at Indiewire »

Watch: New U.K. Trailer For Hirokazu Kore-Eda's 'Our Little Sister'

While no one is making video essays about his work, and he doesn't grab the immediate attention of folks like Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, or the Coens, Hirokazu Kore-eda is one of our favorite filmmakers around these parts. The man behind lovely and affecting dramas like "Like Father, Like Son," "Still Walking," "Nobody Knows," and "After Life," his pictures are distinctly Hirokazu Kore-eda-esque, and that continues with his latest, "Our Little Sister." Read More: Review: Hirokazu Kore-Eda's 'Our Little Sister' Starring Sachi Koda, Yoshino Koda, Chika Koda, and Suzu Asano, and based on the graphic novel "Umimachi Diary" by Akimi Yoshida, the story follows three sisters who meet their teenage half-sister for the first time at their father's funeral. Here's the synopsis:  Three sisters - Sachi, Yoshino and Chika - live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father -.
See full article at The Playlist »

Hirokazu Kore-eda Wraps New Film 'After The Storm,' Likely Headed To Cannes

Hirokazu Kore-eda, a filmmaker perhaps best known for efforts like "After Life," "Still Walking" and "Nobody Knows," has been a steady tear lately. In 2013, he went to Cannes and walked away with the Jury Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize for the lovely and moving "Like Father Like Son." While his return this year to the Croisette with "Our Little Sister" was less well received, he's pressing on and is poised for another trip to the festival in the spring. Read More: Cannes Review: 'Like Father, Like Son' A Tender, Loving Portrait Of Parenthood Production has wrapped on Kore-eda's next film "After The Storm." Hiroshi Abe and Kirin Kiki star in the movie about an award-winning author in the shadow of former glory who tries to reconnect with this family. Here's the official synopsis:  Dwelling on his past glory as a prize-winning author, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) wastes the money he makes as a private.
See full article at The Playlist »

Our Little Sister review [Lff 2015]: “This is perfect drama.”

Our Little Sister review: Presents us with a number of quiet stories unfolding like a modern day Ozu. Our Little Sister review

Saying that Hirokazu Koreeda’s latest is great should go without saying. Koreeda pumps out brilliant films as though it was nothing more than a natural reflex. Emblazoned with a loving sense of realism – even for his more fantastical efforts such as After Life and Air Doll – Koreeda delves into engaging tales of love and family like no other. Our Little Sister is the third consecutive film from Koreeda this decade that deals with family ties. Previously he has warmed our hearts with a tale of brotherly love in I Wish, before looking at complex bonds between fathers and sons in Like Father, Like Son. Now it’s the turn of sisters in Our Little Sister.

Sachi (Haruka Ayase) is the head of a three sister household. As
See full article at The Hollywood News »

'Our Little Sister' ('Umimachi Diary'): Cannes Review

'Our Little Sister' ('Umimachi Diary'): Cannes Review
One of writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s marvelous early films, After Life (1998), unfolds a vision of limbo where the recently deceased collaborate with angelic filmmakers to recreate treasured moments — a cherry blossom shower, a plane ride through clouds, and so on — from their lives before they pass on into oblivion. His latest film, Cannes competitor Our Little Sister, sometimes seems to consist of solely of happy, weightless moments like those. Nearly all the conflict is in the film’s past tense as it observes three grown sisters (played by Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa and Kaho) welcome their teenage half-sibling (Suzu Hirose)

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Watch: First International Trailer For Hirokazu Koreeda's 'Umimachi Diary'

One of Japan's great filmmakers has a brand new movie on the way and we couldn't be more excited. Two years after his excellent "Like Father, Like Son," and from the man who gave us movies like "Still Walking," "Nobody Knows," and "After Life," Hirokazu Koreeda returns with "Umimachi Diary." And the first, full-length international trailer is here. Based on the manga by Akimi Yoshida, and starring Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, and Suzu Hirose, the story follows three sisters who attend the funeral of their father who they haven't seen in 15 years. There they meet their 14-year-old step-sister for the first time and decide to care for her when no one else can. While we can't understand a single word in the trailer, we expect another lovely melodrama with complex characters and heart-punching emotions. "Umimachi Diary" opens in Japan on June 13th, and given he's a regular on the Croisette,
See full article at The Playlist »

Berlin Film Review: ‘Chasuke’s Journey’

Berlin Film Review: ‘Chasuke’s Journey’
While angels eavesdrop discreetly in “Wings of Desire” or spoil lovers’ dates in “The Adjustment Bureau,” a celestial tea server descends to Okinawa, slurps ramen, becomes a celebrity and fights predestination with riotous gusto in the fantasy romance “Chasuke’s Journey.” Enjoying a surge of creativity since his 2009 misfire, “Kanikosen,” Nipponese helmer Sabu is in his most fun-loving element, stirring Okinawa’s magical folk art into a Capraesque yarn that flirts with ideas of fate and self-determination, but really just revels in a rich tapestry of human experience. Full of whimsical twists and high-octane action, this festival-friendly lark could generate lively ancillary biz.

The maverick helmer has cut loose in recent years, shedding some of his bone-dry irony for the gentler dramedy of “Bunny Drop,” or the deeper emotional resonance of “Miss Zombie.” Adapted from Sabu’s yet unpublished debut novel and shot exclusively in Okinawa (where he has been
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hirokazu Koreeda discusses Japanese films & Chinese / Korean Competition

Hirokazu Koreeda speaks about the International Film Industry. One of Japan’s most eminent contemporary directors has a new film coming out and bold opinions on Japanese cinema. Hirokazu Koreeda, the director of such films as After Life, I Wish and Like Father, Like Son, was at the Marrakech Film Festival in Morocco to lead [...]

Continue reading: Hirokazu Koreeda discusses Japanese films & Chinese / Korean Competition
See full article at Film-Book »

Like Father, Like Son Blu-ray Review

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Riri Furanki, Jun Fubuki, Shogen Hwang, Keita Ninomiya,

Running Time: 121 minutes

Certificate: PG

Koreeda has given us some of the most phenomenal films of the last 20 years. Whether he’s exploring real life situations with the likes of Still Walking or Nobody Knows, or if he explores more fantastical stories such as After Life or Air Doll, he is always grounded and understanding of his subject matter in a very complete way. Like Father, Like Son is his latest film, and this time it fits within the former category. It presents a family who discover their son was switched at birth. As they meet the family and their biological son the question becomes whether parentage and family is in the blood or comes from being brought up.

The entire film is handled with such simplistic maturity that every second of film is absorbing.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Interview with Hirokazu Kore-eda, Director of ‘Like Father, Like Son’

Like Father, Like Son

Since the film’s premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award, Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru) has been featured in the 2013 New York, Toronto and Chicago Film Festivals and won Audience Awards at the 2013 San Sebastian and Vancouver Film Festivals. The film has also shown at the 2013 AFI Fest. On seeing it you will surely know why. Its universal appeal to families, sons, fathers, wives touches the hearts of everyone who sees it. Its sensitivity in treating human emotions those of parents to each other and to their own children and those of the children to their parents and other siblings is so tender and delicately handled by director Hirokazu Kore-eda, that the film stays within the viewer and grows stronger if seen again.

Written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (After Life, Nobody Knows, Still Walking), Like Father, Like Son has been picked up by Sundance Selects for U.S. distribution. International Sales Agent Wild Bunch has sold the film worldwide. It was produced and distributed by Fuji Television Network, Inc., Amuse Inc. and Gaga Corporation in Japan.

Like Father, Like Son centers on Ryota (Japanese star Masaharu Fukuyama), a successful Tokyo architect who willingly and consciously works long hours to provide for his wife, Midori (Machiko Ono), and six-year-old son, Keita. When a blood test reveals Keita and another baby were switched at birth, two very different families are thrown together and forced to make a difficult decision while Ryota confronts his own issues of responsibility and what it means to be a father.

After seeing the film a second time at the Crescent Screening Room in Beverly Hills (I had already seen it in Cannes) and being feted at a special dinner at Spago among the Hollywood Foreign Press, I felt very privileged to interview Kore-Eda the next day.

Sl: Having been a fan of Nobody Knows about two siblings whose mother has left them with no sign of returning (there is no father), can you tell me what is your common thread between the two films?

Kore-eda: Until recently becoming a father, I had not been very conscious of fatherhood. The children in Nobody Knows had a resonance with me. The children are projections of myself.

I grew up without a father. Hana yori mo naho was also about a Samurai without a father and Still Walking also had a troubled father. Like Father, Like Son gave me the opportunity to show when it is not good with a father.

I have a 5 year old child, just like the protagonist in the story, and through making this film I wanted to think about what blood connections really mean, an idea very close to me. In order to make the film interesting and compelling to the audience, I placed the protagonist in the situation of being a victim of switched babies.

Your films often touch on paternity. What do being a father – and fatherhood itself – mean to you?

Kore-eda: I really don’t have an answer right now. As my position in the family tree has changed, I believe my idea of fatherhood has changed as well. I will probably continue to look at fatherhood in my coming films until I figure it out.

Sl: How was it working with the children?

Kore-eda: I wanted there to be a contrast of character between the two children. The goal was to bring out their individual personalities in the film. Because the children are six, I wanted them to express confusion rather than sadness, towards their situation.

It’s difficult to elicit puzzlement from children. Most often I just let them act and did not have to explain to them. But when the boy runs away to go home to his family and when Keita thinks that his father is coming for him and he runs away, I had to explain.

On the other hand, when the boy is in the architect’s house and he keeps asking “why”, I didn’t explain anything. The actor told the story and the boy’s acting was totally natural.

Sl: How about working with Fukuyama Masuharu. How was it with him? I know he was a famous pop singer. Here he played such a cold man.

Kore-Eda: He was a pop singer and songwriter for 20 years but he is also known as an actor too. In person he is down-to-earth, straightforward, friendly and is always entertaining everyone, but his public image is cool. I was surprised on meeting him to see how friendly he was.

He has not played many roles as an ordinary, everyday type of guy, like a father.

I took advantage of his coolness and broke it down. He seemed to enjoy badmouthing people, talking about money. Together we pushed his unlikeablity, but just enough so that the audience stayed on his side. I coached him to raise his head and look down, to curl his lips in disdain, to turn his back on someone.

His fans might not like seeing him act this way, but they are only part of the audience for this film. His fans range from 20 to 40 years and are predominately female. The audience was a broad range including people in their 60s and 70s in groups, seeing it multiple times. 2.5 million have seen the film in Japan making it the most successful of all my films.

Sl: What about the idea of bloodlines (nature vs. nurture)?

Kore-eda: The actor is very conservative, a trait he got from his own father and he has to grapple with it. The man on the street today would probably choose the child they raised. On the other hand, adoption has not caught on in Japan and the importance of bloodlines is not an anomaly. Many still hold to the emphasis on bloodline and heritage. Interestingly, the Koreans who see the film would choose bloodlines even more than the Japanese.

Sl: Tell me about the music. The piano which the little boy plays and the piano music which played during the transitions?

Kore-eda: When I am working on a script I usually choose one instrument with a particular emphasis. The image I had while wring this was when the children were in the car switching families. I wanted music which was not melodic but rather percussive. I had been listening to the CDs of Glenn Gould and his music seemed to fit the image. I was afraid it would not be easily obtainable, but with Amuse and Gaga on the case, they were were able to obtain the rights.

Sl: At the end, the family became inclusive and the necessity to choose one over the other was less important. I liked that very much. Can you talk about that?

Kore-eda: The script’s last scene description was explicit. It said that the two families merged as they all entered the house so that you could not tell who was the child and who were the parents.

N.B. The publicist joined in our conversation to say how “blended” families are so prevalent today in the United States, with divorce, children from two families merging…Kore-eda liked that and said that perhaps one of his next films will deal with such a concept of blended families.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

DreamWorks To Remake Hirokazu Kore-eda's Cannes Prize Winning 'Like Father, Like Son'

One of our favorites coming out of Cannes this year was Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Like Father, Like Son," with our very own Kevin Jagernauth giving it an "A" and describing as "a warm and lovely film that suggests the easiest thing about raising a child is embracing how complicated it can be." Looks like were not alone, as the film won the Jury Prize along with a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury Prize, and will be making its North American premiere at this year's Tiff. Well, it also turns out that the film piqued the particular interest and possible investment of one of Cannes' jurors—the president, Steven Spielberg, to be exact. According to Deadline, DreamWorks is negotiating the rights to a "Like Father, Like Son" remake with Fuji TV. Written and directed by Koreeda ("After Life," "Nobody Knows"), the original film follows an ambitious Japanese family who discovers
See full article at The Playlist »

Blue Is the Warmest Color release in the United States (image: Léa Seydoux as the blue-haired Emma in the Blue Is the Warmest Color poster) [See previous post: "Blue Is the Warmest Color Oscar Chances?"] Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color, starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, will be released in the United States via IFC Films’ Sundance Selects. As yet no date has been set, but it’ll quite possibly be some time during awards season in the fall. Distributed by IFC Films, Kechiche’s César-winning The Secret of the Grain took in a paltry $86,356 following its December 2008 North American release. Last year, IFC Films also nabbed the rights to another Cannes Film Festival entry, Walter SallesOn the Road. Two things happened when Salles’ movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s novel hit North American shores: the film lost about 20 minutes of its running time and, despite its prestigious subject matter / source novel and stellar cast (Garrett Hedlund,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Mark Kermode's DVD round-up

Hyde Park on Hudson; The Sessions; Planet of Snail; I Wish; Gangster Squad; The Last Stand

After the success of The King's Speech and the embarrassment of W.E., Albert and Elizabeth Windsor return to our screens once again in Hyde Park on Hudson (2012, Universal, 12). Samuel West and Olivia Colman fill the roles previously inhabited by Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter, here endeavouring to overcome their royal disdain for vulgarity and enjoy a hot-dog in order to cement the "special relationship" with America. The real draw, however, is Bill Murray as Roosevelt, courted by the Brits in the looming shadow of the second world war. Obsessed in equal measure by stamps and women, this Fdr is a contradictory figure, seen through the eyes of his distant cousin Daisy (Laura Linney), whose company he craves and physical attentions he demands in darkly comic fashion. It's a peculiar film, notable for
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Air Doll’ (2009) DVD Review

Air Doll

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda

Written by Hirokazu Koreeda

2009, Japan

Three years after its lukewarm Cannes premiere director Kore-eda Hirokazu returns to the eternal themes of life and love, loss and loneliness that haunted his acclaimed 1998 film After Life with an adaption of the popular manga Kuuki Ningyo by Yoshiie Gōda, roughly translated for western audiences as Air Doll. On the surface this potential companion piece re-tread of 2007′s Lars & The Real Girl where Ryan Gosling became umbilically tied to his doll companion to the gentle consternation of the local small town American community, Air Doll treads a slightly different path by focusing on the magical animation of the polyethylene protagonist rather than the motivations of her alienated master in this usual, uneven but intriguing tale, at the very least its a film that lingers in the memory for its bizarre premise and hook upon which to lash its plastic perambulations.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Tarantino, Scorsese and Other Directors Reveal Their Top 10 Movies of All Time

There was plenty of discussion across the movie blogosphere following last week's announcement that Vertigo had dethroned Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time according to Sight & Sound's decennial poll. In addition to revealing the top 50 as determined by critics, they also provided a top 10 based on a separate poll for directors only. In the print version of the magazine, they have taken it a step further by reprinting some of the individual top 10 lists from the filmmakers who participated, and we now have some of them here for your perusal. Among them, we have lists from legends like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino, but there are also some unexpected newcomers who took part including Richard Ayoade (Submarine), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene). Some of these lists aren't all that surprising (both Quentin Tarantino
See full article at FilmJunk »

Review: 'I Wish' The Rare Example Of A Great Kids Film That Actually Understands Kids

The frustrating thing about most modern "kids films" is that many filmmakers seem like lost balls in tall grass when it comes to portraying what makes children tick. Perhaps it's tougher than we imagine to capture the youth/kid experience, but is it just us or does it seem like nearly all child characters in movies exist in some bizarro world where they're smarter than the all the adults, know just the right thing to say at every moment and hardly ever act like, you know, kids? (See every American indie and Hollywood rom-com from the last 10 years for examples of this annoying, ridiculous trend.) That's why, when a thoughtful, intelligent director takes the reins of such a film, one that actually remembers and respects what it was like to be a kid, the result can be so refreshing. In the best examples of the genre from recent memory --
See full article at The Playlist »

Rewind TV – Without You; Come Date With Me; The Great British Property Scandal; Black Mirror; After Life: The Strange Science of Decay – review

Anna Friel excelled in ITV1's gripping new thriller Without You while Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror raised the darkest of laughs

Without You (ITV) | ITV Player

Come Date with Me (C4) | 4Od

The Great British Property Scandal (C4) | 4Od

Black Mirror (C4) | 4Od

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay (BBC4) | iPlayer

Jealousy hobbles almost all of us at some stage; its many nastinesses ramped to unbearable levels by the fact that it is one of mankind's happiest attributes, our own imaginations, which is doing 90% of the nasties. And how much worse, then, to be jealous in retrospect, when someone's dead and you can't even scream at them, ask them, let them know how much it hurt, and hurts?

This intriguing theme, wrapped in a deft little murder (or was it?) plot, underpinned Without You, the latest adaptation of a "Nicci French" book, which means it's one by Nicci Gerrard and Sean French,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 06/12/2011: Death In Paradise | Money | After Life | Enlightened | Imagine: The Lost Music Of Rajasthan | Hung

  • The Guardian - TV News
Death In Paradise | Money | After Life | Enlightened | Imagine: The Lost Music Of Rajasthan | Hung

Death In Paradise

9pm, BBC1

When a man can't climb from his coffin, it's not normally a problem. However, when he's lead singer of the Venerators and his voodoo shtick involves rising from the dead as he comes on stage, it most definitely is a problem. Especially when he's been shot in the head. The scene is thus set for another investigation by uptight Richard Poole ("It's a police station, not a discotheque!") and his team. What follows is a little daft in places, but always entertaining. Jonathan Wright

Money

9pm, BBC2

The second episode of Vanessa Engle's exploration of our relationship with money begins by asserting – plausibly – that it is the single greatest cause of conflict within relationships, ahead even of such much-gnawed bones of contention as sex, children and whose family to endure at Christmas.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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