Wandâfuru raifu   1998   Japan After Life
After Life Image Cover
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Director:Hirokazu Koreeda
Studio:Engine Film
Writer:Hirokazu Koreeda
IMDb Rating:7.8 (6,070 votes)
Awards:7 wins & 6 nominations
Duration:118 min
Hirokazu Koreeda  ...  (Director)
Hirokazu Koreeda  ...  (Writer)
Arata Iura  ...  Takashi Mochizuki, counsellor (as Arata)
Erika Oda  ...  Shiori Satonaka, trainee counsellor
Susumu Terajima  ...  Satoru Kawashima, counsellor
Takashi Naitô  ...  Takuro Sugie, counsellor
Kyôko Kagawa  ...  Kyoko Watanabe, Ichiro's Wife
Kei Tani  ...  Kennosuke Nakamura, boss
Taketoshi Naitô  ...  Ichiro Watanabe, who cannot choose his favourite experience
Tôru Yuri  ...  Gisuke Shoda, who talks about sex
Yûsuke Iseya  ...  Yusuke Iseya, who refuses to choose his experience
Sayaka Yoshino  ...  Kana Yoshino, talks about Disneyland
Kazuko Shirakawa  ...  Nobuko Amano, who talks about her affair with a married man
Kôtarô Shiga  ...  Kenji Yamamoto, who wants to forget his past
Hisako Hara  ...  Kiyo Nishimura, old lady who loves cherry blossoms
Sadao Abe  ...  Ichiro (as young man)
Natsuo Ishidô  ...  Kyoko Watanabe as a young woman
Yasuhiro Kasamatsu  ...  Composer
Masayoshi Sukita  ...  Cinematographer
Yutaka Yamazaki  ...  Cinematographer
Hirokazu Koreeda  ...  Editor
Comments: I went right back and grabbed After Life (Wandafuru raifu) [1998] • Japan. My goodness. I felt it got a little sloppy at the end, and Kore'eda did that thing I worry about with him of "explaining", but the 105 minutes up to that point were some of the most delightful I've experienced. What a film. The humor is so understated and expertly accidental it amazes me. All the characters, from the pros to the 'real' people, are perfect. I'll never forget the "Red Shoes" woman's face, a face that seems to have a huge smile permanently etched onto it, when for a moment that smile vanishes. Or how polite, respectful, and genuinely moved the pilot is.

I've watched five films by Kore'eda in the last few weeks starting with Air Doll and then moving backwards. He hit four of them out of the park (by a long shot) and one bounced off the top of the wall. I don't know what to say. It's uncanny.

Summary: After people die, they spend a week with counselors, also dead, who help them pick one memory, the only memory they can take to eternity. They describe the memory to the staff who work with a crew to film it and screen it at week's end; eternity follows. 22 dead arrive that week, assigned to three counselors and a trainee. One old man cannot find a memory, so he watches videotape of his life. Others pick their memory quickly, and the film crew gets right to work. The trainee, 18-year-old Shiori, helps a teenage girl choose a memory other than Disneyland. The youthful staff have a secret and feelings, too, which play out, especially Shiori's affection for her mentor, Mochizuki

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