Hirokazu Koreeda – Umimachi Diary AKA Our Little Sister (2015) (HD)

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There are three sisters: 29-year-old Sachi Kouda (Haruka Ayase), 22-year-old Yoshino Kouda (Masami Nagasawa) and 19-year-old Chika Kouda (Kaho). They live at a house in Kamakura, Japanese. Their house was left by their grandmother.
One day, they receive news of their father’s death. When the sisters were young, their parents divorced and their father left them. They haven’t seen their father in 15 years. Upon hearing the news on their father’s death, the sisters attend their father’s funeral.
At the funeral, they meet their stepsister Suzu Asano (Suzu Hirose). She is 14-years-old and there are no one to take care of her. Oldest sister Sachi invites Suzu to live with them. Continue reading

Hirokazu Koreeda – Umimachi Diary (2015)

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Plot
There are three sisters: 29-year-old Sachi Kouda (Haruka Ayase), 22-year-old Yoshino Kouda (Masami Nagasawa) and 19-year-old Chika Kouda (Kaho). They live at a house in Kamakura, Japanese. Their house was left by their grandmother.

One day, they receive news of their father’s death. When the sisters were young, their parents divorced and their father left them. They haven’t seen their father in 15 years. Upon hearing the news on their father’s death, the sisters attend their father’s funeral.

At the funeral, they meet their stepsister Suzu Asano (Suzu Hirose). She is 14-years-old and there are no one to take care of her. Oldest sister Sachi invites Suzu to live with them. Continue reading

Hirokazu Koreeda – Maboroshi no hikari (1995)

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One of the most visually beautiful movies ever made, Maboroshi no Hikari (1995) is reality filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu’s impressive first foray into fictional storytelling. For Maboroshi, Kore-eda turns his documentary director’s eye on the rugged landscape of the Western Japanese coast, which serves as a starkly sublime backdrop for a tale of one young woman’s grievous loss and promise for spiritual renewal. The film draws on the traditions of Japan’s past directorial masters Ozu and Mizoguchi, but it’s also full of gorgeous moments that are purely Kore-eda’s own. Maboroshi no Hikari anticipates the director’s later narrative filmmaking masterpieces After Life and Nobody Knows, as well as featuring an early performance from international star Asano Tadanobu.
Twentysomething Yumiko (Esumi Makiko) and her husband Ikuo (Asano) live in a small, run-down apartment in Osaka with their infant son. The young couple seems content with their life, but when Ikuo inexplicably commits suicide, Yumiko’s entire world falls apart around her. Accepting an arranged marriage in a small fishing village on the Sea of Japan, Yumiko and her child attempt a fresh start. Although she soon comes to love the raw beauty of her new home, Yumiko remains haunted by the memory of Ikuo and the mystery surrounding his sudden death. (~YesAsia) Continue reading

Hirokazu Koreeda – Dare mo shiranai AKA Nobody Knows (2004)

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Synopsis
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.
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Hirokazu Koreeda – Kûki ningyô aka Air Doll (2009)

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Middle-aged Hideo lives alone with an inflatable doll he calls Nozomi. The doll is his closest companion. He dresses it up, talks to it over dinner, and has sexual intercourse with it. However, unbeknown to Hideo, Nozomi was created with a heart. After Hideo leaves for work each day, Nozomi dresses in her maid’s outfit and explores the world outside their apartment with a sense of child-like wonder. She encounters various city residents who metaphorically are as “empty inside” as she is. When Nozomi meets Junichi, who works at a local video store, she falls in love with him and gets a part-time job at the store. She learns about the world through the movies she watches with Junichi, but her happiness with him is interrupted by a dramatic turn of events. Director Koreeda has stated that the film is about the loneliness of urban life and the question of what it means to be human.
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Hirokazu Koreeda – Wandâfuru raifu aka After Life (1998)

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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.
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Hirokazu Koreeda – Soshite chichi ni naru AKA Like Father, Like Son (2013)

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Quote:
The Japanese melodrama “Like Father, Like Son” turns on the kind of cruel twist — children switched at birth — that’s the stuff of tear-wringing headlines and fiction. It begins with the revelation that two 6-year-old boys were given at birth to the wrong families, which now need to decide on the best thing to do. For one set of parents, Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) and Midorino (Machiko Ono), a comfortably middle-class couple nestled high in a glass tower, the revelation that their only son, Keita (Keita Ninomiya), isn’t a blood relation is a blow to their tiny family. It’s also a wedge that — day by day, hurt by hurt — transforms these loving parents into sparring partners. Family ties wind through the work of the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, whose films include “Nobody Knows” (about four children abandoned by their mother) and “Still Walking” (about a family grieving for a dead son). In his last film, “I Wish,” he tells the story of two seemingly unsinkable young brothers separated by their mother and father’s bad marriage and choices: Each child lives with a different parent, having been divided up as if they were household possessions. In “Like Father, Like Son,” Mr. Hirokazu again creates a pair of irresistible charmers whose lives are, with increasing emotional violence, upended — with polite bows, civilized conversations and hollow-sounding rationalizations — by the very adults meant to take care of them. — Manohla Dargis
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