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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 »

Cannes Film Review: ‘After the Storm’

Cannes Film Review: ‘After the Storm’
“A stew needs time for the flavors to sink in; so do people,” observes the sage matriarch of “After the Storm.” The same could be said for Hirokazu Kore-eda’s filmmaking, which keeps the melancholy tale of a broken family reunited briefly by a typhoon on a slow simmer until the last act, which is sprinkled with small epiphanies about our humble existence. Featuring an uncomplicated plot and easily relatable personalities, this is a divertissement compared with the thematic heft of “Like Father, Like Son.” Still its gentle contemplation of life’s disappointments and human inadequacy may draw new recruits beyond the director-writer’s euro-arthouse base.

The character arc of a deadbeat father struggling to win back the love and respect of his estranged wife and son is one often found in pugilist films. But for Kore-eda, it’s a means to rework past themes in his family dramas, such
See full article at Variety - Film News »

[Cannes Review] After the Storm

Can our children pick and choose the personality traits they inherit, or are they doomed to obtain our lesser qualities? These are the hard questions being meditated on in After the Storm, a sobering, transcendent tale of a divorced man’s efforts to nudge back into his son’s life. Beautifully shot by regular cinematographer Yutaka Yamasaki, it marks a welcome and quite brilliant return to serious fare for writer-editor-director Hirokazu Kore-eda following last year’s Our Little Sister, widely regarded as one of the slightest works of his career thus far.

Recent Kore-eda regular Abe Hiroshi plays Ryota, a prize-winning author struggling to live up to the success of his first novel. He’s a father of one, a gambling addict, and probably a bit of an asshole. We learn the man’s been researching for his follow-up book by moonlighting as a private eye. The job adds an
See full article at The Film Stage »

Cannes 2016: After the Storm review

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ From Still Walking to his latest offering After the Storm, premièring in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Hirokazu Kore-eda has proven himself a master at delineating the changing dynamics of Japanese family life. Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is something of a failure. But it hasn't always been so. He had high hopes, a young family and even wrote a prize-winning novel called - somewhat prophetically - The Empty Table. But he's frittered away his good luck on a gambling addiction and now works part-time as a detective, snooping on adulterous couples in order to make his child support. His ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki) is losing patience and believes their 11-year-old son Shingo (Toyota Yoshizawa) might be better off without him in their life.
See full article at CineVue »

10th Asian Film Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

The Asian Film Awards Academy will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to the venerable Japanese actress Kiki Kirin and to the veteran Hong Kong action choreographer-director Yuen Wo-ping at the Afa Ceremony on March 17th. This award recognizes film professionals who inspire excellence in others, and in their lifetime have made fundamental achievements and lasting impact of outstanding artistic, cultural and commercial significance in Asian Cinema.

Dr. Wilfred Wong, Chairman of the Afa Academy, said: “Master Yuen has brought Chinese martial arts to new heights through his constant innovation and creativity in action films that he has made over a decades-long career in Hong Kong, China and internationally. Ms. Kiki is an actress who is adored by many. Her mesmerizing and charismatic persona has inspired some of the most respected Japanese master filmmakers of our time. The works they have made that are loved by Japanese and international audiences would
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

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 »

Japan’s Hirokazu Kore’eda Readies ‘Still Deeper Than The Sea’

Japan’s Hirokazu Kore’eda Readies ‘Still Deeper Than The Sea’
Tokyo – Hirokazu Kore’eda, Japan’s auteur director who has seen his last two films play in competition in Cannes, will have his next film ready for May 2016.

Kore’eda has started production on “Umi yori mo Mada Fukaku” (literal translation: “Still deeper than the Sea”) an offbeat family drama that the director also scripted.

Hiroshi Abe, veteran star of everything from arthouse dramas to commercial comedies, plays a middle-aged man who never quite made it to adulthood. Kirin Kiki will play his mother and Yoko Maki his former wife. Abe also worked with Koreeda in the latter’s 2011 child-centered drama “I Wish” and the 2008 dysfunctional family drama “Still Walking.”

The film is set for a May 21 Japanese theatrical bow with Gaga distributing. Among the production partners are the Fuji TV network, Bandai Visual and Aoi Pro. Wild Bunch has international rights outside Asia.

Kore’eda was in Cannes in 2013 with “Like Father,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Our Little Sister’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Our Little Sister’
Marking the subtle transitions in the lives of three sisters after they take under their wing a teenage half-sibling they never knew, “Our Little Sister” is so meticulously shot and gracefully orchestrated that it can be considered a worthy contempo successor to Kon Ichikawa’s masterpiece “The Makioka Sisters.” Yet, in attempting to evoke an overwhelmingly femme-centric universe for the first time, Hirokazu Kore-eda adopts an approach so serene that his protagonists’ pain as well as their personalities remain largely muffled as they drift soulfully through the seasons. While gently engaging throughout, the pic nonetheless doesn’t reverberate as deeply as the helmer’s 2013 Cannes jury prizewinner, “Like Father, Like Son,” but Kore-eda’s standing among the worldwide culturati will ensure a warm response at festivals and arthouse cinemas.

Our Little Sister” is Kore-eda’s fourth film (after “Nobody Knows,” “I Wish” and “Like Father, Like Son”) to center on abandoned children.
See full article at Variety - Film 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 »

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 »

Win Like Father, Like Son on DVD

  • HeyUGuys
To mark the release of Like Father, Like Son on 5th May, we’ve been given copies to give away on DVD.

Would you choose your natural son, or the son you believed was yours after spending 6 years together? Kore-eda Hirokazu, the globally acclaimed director of “Nobody Knows”, “Still Walking” and “I Wish”, returns to the big screen with another family – a family thrown into torment after a phone call from the hospital where the son was born…

Ryota has earned everything he has by his hard work, and believes nothing can stop him from pursuing his perfect life as a winner. Then one day, he and his wife, Midori, get an unexpected phone call from the hospital. Their 6-year-old son, Keita, is not ‘their’ son – the hospital gave them the wrong baby.

Ryota is forced to make a life-changing decision, to choose between ‘nature’ and ‘nurture.’ Seeing Midori’s
See full article at HeyUGuys »

The Family That Eats Together… Seven Great Movies About Food and Families

Despite the obvious mafia connections, The Capones is at its heart a show about a family restaurant. Of course, food and family have always gone together, so in honor of its premiere we decided to count down the seven best movies about family and food ever made.

Family, Food, and Lots of Fighting

Returning with new episodes in March

Next Showing:

Link | Posted 2/4/2014 by Sean

The Capones | Eat Drink Man Woman | Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory | Waitress | GoodFellas | Babette's Feast | Big Night | Still Walking
See full article at ReelzChannel »

Hirokazu Kore-eda on Crafting Shots and Scouting Locations for Like Father, Like Son

Hirokazu Kore-eda is a wanderer. The Japanese director, 51, has been known to disappear on set, leaving his cast and crew wondering where their maestro’s ventured off to. For instance, while making his 2008 masterpiece, Still Walking, Kore-eda vanished for a spell, only to discover the flowering trees that became an invaluable motif in the film. The director’s exploratory nature, which one might partly attribute to his background as a documentarian, has proven crucial in the poetic meticulousness of his exteriors. However, his visual instincts are hardly outdoor-exclusive, and his keenness for selecting ideal settings and compositions is just as […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Interview: Kore-eda Hirokazu Talks Steven Spielberg's Remake Of 'Like Father Like Son,' Directing Children & More

In person, Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu is gentle and thoughtful, with a frequent warm, shy smile—of the directors we've met, he perhaps comes closest to being the true embodiment of his films. But his humility is all the more remarkable for the body of work it covers: since establishing himself instantly as a filmmaker of rare sensitivity with 1995's "Maborosi" and breaking through internationally with his vision of a bureaucratic yet sympathetic Purgatory in "After Life," he has brought films to Cannes four times, and earlier this year won the Jury Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize for the extraordinarily affecting "Like Father Like Son." (Read our A grade review from Cannes here.) Kore-eda has in fact worked across many genres, from fantasy ("After Life," "Air Doll"), through dramas inspired by true events both public ("Distance") and personal ("Still Walking," "Nobody Knows"), and even a Samurai comedy in "Hana,
See full article at The Playlist »

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 »

New UK Trailer For ‘Like Father, Like Son’

One of the films in competition at this year’s BFI London Film Festival is Kore-eda Hirokazu’s family drama Like Father, Like Son, which is gaining huge acclaim as it plays around the world. The film actually arrives in UK cinemas on 18th October, following its Lff premiere, and is sure to be in the running to secure the coveted ‘Best Film’ award at the festival.

Synopsis: Would you choose your natural son, or the son you believed was yours after spending 6 years together? Kore-eda Hirokazu, the globally acclaimed director of “Nobody Knows”, “Still Walking” and “I Wish”, returns to the big screen with another family – a family thrown into torment after a phone call from the hospital where the son was born…

Ryota has earned everything he has by his hard work, and believes nothing can stop him from pursuing his perfect life as a winner. Then one day,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Full Trailer Arrives For Kore-Eda's Like Father, Like Son

An enormous favorite on the festival circuit, Japanese director Kore-Eda Hirokazu debuted his latest drama Like Father, Like Son in Canneswhere audiences hoping for another multi-layered, character driven drama were not disappointed by his handling of the emotionally complex premise.Would you choose your natural son, or the son you believed was yours after spending 6 years together? Kore-eda Hirokazu, the globally acclaimed director of "Nobody Knows" (2004), "Still Walking" (2008) and "I Wish" (2011), returns to the big screen with another family - a family thrown into torment after a phone call from the hospital where the son was born... Ryota has earned everything he has by his hard work, and believes nothing can stop him from pursuing his perfect life as a winner. Then...

[Read the whole post on]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Film News: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ Wins Palme d’Or at Cannes 2013

Chicago – After heating up juror monocles with the steamiest three hours at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the lesbian romance “Blue is the Warmest Color” won the coveted Palme d’Or at the 2013 awards ceremony held Sunday, May 26th. The top prize was shared by French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche (“The Secret of the Grain”) and his two leading ladies, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.

Settling for the Grand Prix was Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a music-filled portrait of a fictionalized ’60s-era folk singer played by Oscar Isaac (in a performance guaranteed to generate Oscar buzz). Amat Escalante won Best Director for his brutal Mexican crime drama, “Heli,” while the Best Screenplay award was presented to Zhangke Jia (“Still Life”) for his uncharacteristically blood-spattered Chinese thriller, “A Touch of Sin.” Hirokazu Koreeda (“Still Walking”) won the Jury Prize for his Japanese family drama, “Like Father, Like Son.
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Sundance Selects Buys 'Like Father, Like Son,' Its 4th 2013 Cannes Film Festival Title

Sundance Selects is acquiring U.S. rights to Japanese writer-director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s "Like Father, Like Son," which took a jury prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. "Like Father, Like Son" a dramedy that examines two families who discover that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth. It's the fourth festival title that Sundance Selects purchased at the festival. The film stars Fukuyama Masaharu, Ono Machiko, Maki Yoko, and Lily Franky, and was produced by Kameyama Chihiro, Hatanaka Tatsuro, and Tom Yoda. The film made its world premiere this week in Competition at the festival. Sundance Selects’ sister label, IFC Films, previously released Hirokazu’s "Still Walking" and "Nobody Knows." The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, senior VP acquisitions and productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Carole Baraton at Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers. Sundance Selects made deals at the festival already for several festival award winners.
See full article at Indiewire »
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