- Slides: 24
Kore’eda Hirokazu Films of Dialectics
Films of Various Dailectics "As a child I comprehended little of what I saw, but I remember thinking that people forget everything when they die. I now understand how critical memories are to our identity, to a sense of self. ” Kore’eda Hirokazu
Television Films (Documentaries) Documentary However (1991) About the suicide of an elite bureaucrat who have for many years negotiated as a government representative with mercury pollution victims (Minamata disease) for compensation.
Television Films (Documentaries) Lessons from a Calf (1991) about a primary school in which an experimental education is carried out. No textbooks are used. The film follows pupils raising a cow, named Laura, over three years.
Television Films (Documentaries) I Wanted to Become a Japanese … (1992) - A Korean resident in Japan was arrested for the forgery of a passport. Nobody knew that he is Korean until his arrest. Why did he fake a Japanese passport? August without Him (1994) - about the first Japanese to publicly acknowledge that he contracted AIDS through heterosexual intercourse. • The documentary is shot by home-video recorder and focus on the interaction between the subject and the filmmaker.
Television Films (Documentaries) • Without Memory (1996) - A father loses his short-term memory as a result of failure in medical treatment. The documentary exposes the inefficiency of Japan’s health care system and its bureaucratic callousness, while raising more philosophical issue of memory and loss. • The Japanese Constitution - The Clause 9, the Renounce of War and Forgetting (2002) - about the controversial Clause 9 of the Japanese Constitution and the loss of war-time memory.
Feature Films • Maboroshi (1995) - a young woman is deeply troubled by the memory of two losses. When she was a child, her grandmother disappeared on her and was never found again. Her husband committed suicide, though nobody found any motive for it. He lived very happily with her and his new born baby.
Feature Films • She remarries and lives happily in a remote village with her own son, her husband, her stepdaughter and her father-in-law, but the memories of her grandmother and late husband keep haunting her.
Feature Films • After Life (1998) - as people die and make their journey to the other world, they stop a half-way station and select one memory to take with them to heaven. The memory is filmed with the help of a counselor so that the departed will have a permanent record of their former lives.
Feature Films • Distance (2001) - on the third anniversary of the mass murder by a cult religious sect, four people who lost their loved ones travel to the place where the tragedy took place.
Feature Films • While reflecting on the relationships with the departed, the four people encounter a former member of the sect. Unexpected turn of events lead to the resolution of the past regrets.
Feature Films • Nobody Knows (2003) - abandoned by their mother, four people employ their wit and a set of their rules to survive in a tiny Tokyo apartment, till the harsh reality of the outside world tells a toll.
Feature Films • Hana (2006) - a young, gentle samurai comes to Edo from the province to take revenge against his father’s killer, though he is so inept that he cannot carry out his mission.
Feature Films • Still Walking is a family drama about the grownup children visiting their elderly parents in a summer day. One of the purpose of the rare family reunion is to commemorate the death of the eldest son taken place fifteen years ago.
Themes • Disappearance (death) and memory in Maboroshi: Memories of the departed haunts the heroine; keeping memories ⇔ coping and overcoming memories • Deaths and remembering in After Life: Memories of former lives; losing memory ⇔ preserving memory • Death and recollection in Distance: Memories of the beloved; keeping their memories ⇔ coming terms with and overcoming their death
Motifs and Themes • Disappearance and lack of memory in Nobody Knows: Memories of a disappeared mother; attachment to her ⇔ learning to live without her • Death and revenge in Hana: Memories of a murdered father; keeping his memories alive ⇔ finding a new meaning in life • Death and disappearing memories in Still Walking: fading memories of the dead in busy daily life; coping with grief and the regret of not griefing enough.
Visual Styles • Documentary ⇔ Aestheticism • Shot entirely natural light ⇔ Extremely lyrical and magical effects of light and shadow, deep colours (Maboroshi, Distance)
Visual Styles • Documentary ⇔ Aestheticism • 500 interviews to non-actors about their favourite memory to take with them to heaven mainly shot by hand-held camera in natural light ⇔ Lyrical, ‘fantastic’ and nostalgic visual effects in cinematography
Visual Styles • Documentary ⇔ Aestheticism • Capturing the reality of large and anonymous cities ⇔ Beauty of modern / post-modern cityscape • Osaka in Maboroshi, Tokyo in Nobody Knows
Visual Styles • The hand-held camera capture the reality of Osaka in deep colours (Maborosh) and Tokyo in slightly over-exposed colours (Nobody Knows) ⇔ sense of unreality (otherworldliness)
Visual Styles • The camera capturing realities of a contemporary family in Still Walking ⇔ nostalgic and otherworldly atmosphere and mood are created by photography and editing.
Dialectics • Kore’eda’s films - oscillate between truth and fantasy, documentary and fiction, now and past, reality and invention in both their themes and visual styles.
Conclusion • Is Kore-eda a director of social problem films? Neo-social conscience film? • TV documentary and feature film • Not much so in his feature films • Consistent theme - memory • What is memory, how accurate is memory, how can memory be kept alive …
Conclusion • Changing film styles • Clear influence from TV documentary making • ‘For Kore-eda, a film style is not his skin but a changeable shirt. He freely changes shirts according to the aim of his films, whose productions are carefully based on marketresearch. ’ Shikata Inuhiko • Great eyes to details • His own unique style yet to be emerged