Skip to main content

AFTER LIFE

Japan, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda

Hirokazu Kore-eda has two previous MIFF hits under his belt and once again proves his irrepressible talent. After Life is set in a purgatory or limbo which looks an awful lot like an old brick school on a perfect autumn day. Guides assist the newly dead in selecting their most treasured memory, the one that they will take with them to eternity.

While some people have no trouble choosing, oth­ers agonise over the decision. A multitude of stories emerge—funny, touching, thought-provoking—most of them gleaned from hundreds of interviews that Kore-eda and his staff conducted with ordinary citizens, some of whom appear in the film.

Teenage bimbos, rebellious punks and war veterans choose from memories of sexual encounters, childbirth, train rides, dance lessons and their final cigarette. The staff, meanwhile, gather to discuss various cases espe­cially those in danger of never recovering a truly joyous memory. A beautiful, spiritually rich idea handled in poignant cinematic fashion.

See also...

LULU ON THE BRIDGE

After surviving a near-fatal shooting, jazz saxophonist Izzy Maurer (Harvey Keitel) stumbles across the body of a stranger in tower Manhattan and winds up with the dead man's briefcase. Inside he ... More »

MY NAME IS JOE

This tale of working class characters caught in a down­ward spiral of their own and society's weaknesses could be considered amongst Ken Loach's best work. As befits his reputation, this is a no ... More »

SHOW ME LOVE

Originally titled Fucking Amal (an exclamation by one of the protagonists which obviously presented some marketing problems in more prudish territories), Show Me Love is a sensitive story of ... More »

SUGAR TOWN

Sugar Town is reminiscent of Robert Altman's Nashville, The Player and Short Cuts. An observalion that is meant as a compliment and as an indication of the quality company it keeps. The film cuts ... More »

BARRIO

Javi, Manu and Rai live in a none too salubrious part of Madrid. Their barrio (neighbourhood) is principally comprised of rundown, low-income housing and conse­quently the boys, in their ... More »

PASSION

A chilling Hungarian adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Deeply grained monochrome images combine with a seething undercurrent of sex and murderous plotting to create a dark and sinister ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director