Four seasons in the life of an orphaned family: such is the topic of Nobody Knows, the new film by Kore-eda Hirokazu, who was already noticed in Cannes in 2001 with Distance, which was presented in the section “Certain Regard”. The interior universe of four children left to themselves after their mother abandons them. A film about the difficulties of childhood, drawn from a news story.Review
Four seasons in the life of an orphaned family: such is the topic of Nobody Knows, the new film by Kore-eda Hirokazu, who was already noticed in Cannes in 2001 with Distance, which was presented in the section “Certain Regard”. The interior universe of four children left to themselves after their mother abandons them. A film about the difficulties of childhood, drawn from a news story.
Review by Roger Ebert:
The people materialize from out of clear white light, as a belltolls. Where are they? An ordinary building is surrounded by greenery andan indistinct space. They are greeted by staff members who explain,courteously, that they have died, and are now at a way-station before thenext stage of their experience.
They will be here a week. Their assignment is to choose one memory,one only, from their lifetimes: One memory they want to save for eternity.
Then a film will be made to reenact that memory, and they will move along,taking only that memory with them, forgetting everything else. They willspend eternity within their happiest memory.
That is the premise of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “After Life,” a filmthat reaches out gently to the audience and challenges us: What is thesingle moment in our own lives we treasure the most? One of the newarrivals says that he has only bad memories. The staff members urge him tothink more deeply. Surely spending eternity within a bad memory wouldbe–well, literally, hell. And spending forever within our best memorywould be, I suppose, as close as we should dare to come to heaven.
Seen through the prism of the Lin family, this complex family drama from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao Hsien details a brief but crucial moment in Taiwanese history between 1945, when 50 years of Japanese colonial rule came to an end, and 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Kuomintang forces established a government-in-exile after the Communist army captured mainland China. Continue reading
Cult “pink” director Hisayasu Sato’s films typically focus on unusual relationships among the alienated dregs of urban society, and this one is no exception, as a taxi driver who rapes women runs into a former victim and begins a decidedly peculiar affair. Minako Ogawa, Naoko Takeda, and the omnipresent Katsumi Ohtaki co-star in yet another of Sato’s downbeat dispatches from the urban underbelly, co-written with Shiro Yumeno under the title “Decaying Town,” which would be a good title for most of the director’s works. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide Continue reading
From Film Journal International:
By Ethan Alter
When you spend as much time in movie theatres as film critics and serious movie buffs do, you can’t help but wonder whether those spaces possess an inner life. What happens after the last show when the lights are turned off, the doors are locked and everybody goes home? Particularly in an older theatre, it’s easy to imagine a ghostly audience materializing in the empty auditorium as the projector flickers to life. That’s the setting evoked in Tsai Ming-liang’s latest curiosity, Goodbye, Dragon Inn. Unfolding entirely in a rundown movie theatre that’s closing its doors following the evening’s final show, the film is a slow, almost annoyingly deliberate piece of work that nevertheless lingers in your mind long after the credits roll. Continue reading
Plot: The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who’s stolen the key and uses the apartment as a retreat.
Plot:Yu is a high school boy who lives with his father who became a priest after Yu’s mother died. But one day, a woman, Kaori, falls for Yu’s father although she knows that he is a priest. Yu is completely against this because he does not like Kaori’s eccentric presence intruding into the father and son’s peaceful life, and even more because she brings with her Yoko, the girl he fell in love with at first sight. He does not want the girl of his dreams to become a step-sister! One day, religious cult member Koike finds this so-called family an interesting group and kidnaps three of its members, leaving Yu behind on purpose hoping he will join the cult soon. He will not fall for Koike’s tricks, but instead will do anything to save the love of his life, Yoko, from this cult. Continue reading