Kore-eda’s great new film is what the Japanese call a “home drama”. It chronicles a 24-hour reunion of the Yokoyama family; the two adult children and their families are visiting their elderly parents to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the death of their elder brother, who died rescuing a drowning boy. There are no ‘dramatic’ incidents and the tone is generally light and humorous. But during the day and night we see all that unites and divides this particular family – and makes it just like any other.
The stern patriarch, a retired physician, still mourns his favourite son and intended heir, and doesn’t hide his disapproval of his surviving son and daughter. The mother lets slip the odd remark which betrays the frustrations and disappointments of her marriage; it’s her favourite 1960s pop song which gives the film its title. The central character is the younger son Ryota, a forty-something picture restorer who has only just got married, an adult who has never quite grown up or felt at home in the family. In its unassertive way, this feels as piercingly true as some of the great “home dramas” of the past – such as Ozu’s. —London Film Festival
Born in Tokyo in 1962. Originally intended to be a novelist, but after graduating from Waseda University in 1987 went on to become an assistant director at TV Man Union. Sneaked off set to film Lessons from a Calf (1991). His first feature, Maboroshi no hikari (1995), based on a Teru Miyamoto novel and drawn from his own experiences whilst filming August Without Him (1994), won jury prizes at Venice and Chicago. The main themes of his oeuvre include memory and loss, death and loss, and the intersection of documentary and fictional narratives. —IMDb
As someone said, this film is a triumph of simplicity. This is about as real life as it gets. Its a universal theme, not a Japanese one. Great film.
Ozu’s last film to be, entitled The Radish and the Carrot; so Kore-eda’s film opens with these two items, the torch passed on. So too, picking up from Maborosi - indeed, a body’s culmination - where relationships bubble under the surface, and death is never far away, but their treatment being so tender that comfort can be had in the most simple pleasures: a family preparing a meal, a train ride into the country, or a lazy summer stroll. Such is the essence of Still Walking, the Kore-eda I’ve been looking for: painful in its candour, yet beautiful.
"Delirious, deranged, gonzo or just gone, baby, gone - no single adjective or even a pileup does justice to House, a 1977 Japanese haunted
The Auteurs and the 33ª Mostra Internacional de Cinema em São Paulo (or, if you like, the São Paulo International Film Festival) are launching
A talk with the Japanese director about his film Still Walking.
Still Walking opens in U.S. theatres August 28.
"What's remarkable about Still Walking, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's seventh feature film and one every bit as sensitive as his