Hirokazu Koreeda

Hirokazu Koreeda – Distance (2001)

Quote:
With its focus on the emotional aftermath of a religious cult’s terrorist attack on Tokyo, “Distance” was always going to invite comparisons with the Aum cult’s nerve gas attack on the city’s subway system in 1995.

Yet, rather than simply recreating that tragedy, “Distance” takes us into a far more complex, and decidedly more unsettling, drama about loss and bereavement.Three years after the fictional Ark of Truth group has contaminated Tokyo’s water supply with a genetically-engineered virus, leaving 128 people dead and 8,000 injured, four of the dead cult members’ relatives meet to pay their respects to their loved ones at the lake where their ashes were scattered. Read More »

Hirokazu Koreeda – Aruitemo aruitemo aka Still Walking (2008)

Quote:
The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore – eda’s most personal work to date. Created as a tribute to his late mother, the film depicts one day in the life of the Yokoyamas, gathered together for a commemorative ritual whose nature only gradually becomes clear. Rather than focus on big dramatic moments, Kore – eda relies on simple gestures and domestic routines (especially cooking) to evoke a family’s entire life, its deep regrets and its daily joys. Featuring vivid, heartrending performances and a gentle naturalism that harks back to the director’s earlier, documentary work, Still Walking is an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us. Read More »

Hirokazu Koreeda – Distance (2001)

Synopsis:
A massacre initiated by the followers of an apocalyptic religious sect, the Ark of Truth, leaves more than a hundred people dead – including the self-appointed executioners, slain by fellow cult members.

Three years pass. On the anniversary of the slaughter, four friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy seek solace by journeying to the secluded lake where it all began. They encounter a man who was with the executioners until the very moment the killing began, and their pilgrimage takes a strange, unexpected turn. Read More »

Hirokazu Koreeda – Hana yori mo naho (2006)

Director Hirokazu Koreeda turns the popularly held conventions of the typical samurai evenge tale on their head with this story of a man whose quest to avenge the death of his father gradually takes a back seat to his emerging role as a key figure in the community. The year is 1702, and young samurai Sozaemon Aoki (Junichi Okada) has arrived in Edo to seek revenge against Jubei Kanazawa (Tadanoby Asano). Kanazawa is the man responsible for the death of Aoki’s father, and now it’s up to the grieving swordsman to settle the score. When Aoki begins teaching the children of Edo to read and write, however, his bloodlust slowly begins to subside as he cones to realize the true value of his useful place in society. Upon falling in love with the beautiful Osae (Rie Miyazawa), Aoki comes to realize that although the sword may be a powerful symbol of strength, allowing oneself to fall victim to its savage allure may not always be the best way to realizing ones true heroism. Read More »

Hirokazu Koreeda – Kiseki aka I Wish (2011)

Synopsis:
In Kagoshima, the boy Koichi lives with his mother Nozomi in the house of his grandparents. Koichi misses his younger brother Ryunosuke and his father Kenji, who live in Fukuoka, and he dreams of his family coming together again. One day, Koichi overhears that the energy released by two bullet trains passing by each other would grant wishes and he invites his two best friends, Tasuku and Makoto, to travel to the point of intersection of the two trains. Koichi also tells his plan to Ryunosuke that invites his three best friends to join him. Soon the seven children arrive to the meeting point in the journey of discoveries. Read More »

Hirokazu Koreeda – Manbiki kazoku AKA Shoplifters (2018)

A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold. Read More »

Hirokazu Koreeda – Umi yori mo mada fukaku AKA After the Storm (2016)

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A prize-winning author that wastes his money on gambling struggles to take back control of his existence as his aging mother and ex-wife move on with their lives, until a stormy summer night offers him a chance to bond with his young son once again.

Tara Judah wrote:
From sentiment to scenario and across his characters, places, imagery and impressions, Kore-eda’s films have a melancholic tonality that represents the aching of the human soul. Read More »