Bringing experimental, international, and undistributed films to Los Angeles
After Life (Dir. Hirokazu Koreeda, 1998)
Date: October 26, 2017
Location: Downtown Independent
Address: 251 S Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Q&A with director Hirokazu Koreeda and Los Angeles Times
film critic Justin Chang to follow the screening!
Co-presented by the Yanai Initiative at UCLA,
Waseda University, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive
After Life is set in a small mid-20th century social-service-style office, acting as a waystation, where the souls of the recently deceased are processed before entering heaven. "Heaven," for the film, is a single happy memory from one's life, re-experienced for eternity, which each of the deceased must choose within their seven days at the waystation.
The story pays most attention to two of the "counselors," Takashi (Arata) and Shiori (Oda). Takashi has been assigned to help an old man, Ichiro (played by Naito Taketoshi), select his memory. Takashi reviews videotape of Ichiro's life and learns that Ichiro had married Takashi's former fiancée after Takashi had been killed during World War II. Takashi has Ichiro assigned to another counselor, but is still troubled by his memories, causing both him and his quasi-romantic interest Shiori to re-examine their (after-) lives. (DCP*) ~ Presented as part of "Hirokazu Koreeda: Cinema from the Outside In"
*Due to a technical issue this screening will be presented digitally
Thoughtful, quiet, and deeply sympathetic.
Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
A dazzling apotheosis of cinema’s revelatory capacity.
Kristi McKim, Senses of Cinema
Yields a good many beautiful and suggestive moments... An overall film experience of striking originality.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader
Koreeda, with this film and the 1995 masterpiece Maborosi, has earned the right to be considered with Kurosawa, Bergman, and other great humanists of the cinema.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
Koreeda's unique achievement is that he has turned a deeply personal and private problematic into a mirror for every viewer's own fears, desires and memories. 'Masterpiece' seems not too strong a word.
Tony Rayns, Sight & Sound