Hirokazu Kore-eda

Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.

Moderator: DarkImbecile

Message
Author
artfilmfan
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#76 Post by artfilmfan » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:12 pm

"Umimachi Diary" AKA "Our Little Sister" - December 16th DVD and Blu-ray releases in Japan. Unfortunately, no English subtitles (according to CDJapan and Amazon.jp sites).

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#77 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:00 am

artfilmfan wrote:"Umimachi Diary" AKA "Our Little Sister" - December 16th DVD and Blu-ray releases in Japan. Unfortunately, no English subtitles (according to CDJapan and Amazon.jp sites).
First Kore'eda feature (non-documentary) film to not have subtitles. English subtitles seem to now largely be a thing of the past on Japanese releases, even as fewer and fewer new (non-genre) films get Western (or even HK) releases.

artfilmfan
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#78 Post by artfilmfan » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:24 pm

Umimachi Diary- Hopefully some company in another country will release it with English subtitles, but I doubt the cover will be as beautiful as the Japanese DVD/Blu-ray. It would have been nice to pre-order this with the upcoming Late Spring Blu-ray to reduce shipping cost.

User avatar
FakeBonanza
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:35 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#79 Post by FakeBonanza » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:48 pm

I can't recall there being any precedent for the Criterion/Sony relationship leading to any quick-turnaround Criterion releases for Sony distributed films, but upon seeing Our Little Sister, I immediately hoped that it would be Criterion's first Kore-eda release since Still Walking.

I'm not saying this only because of Criterion's relationship with Sony, but also because I consider Our Little Sister Kore-eda's best since the 2008 film. That isn't to disregard the intermediate films, because I like them all (especially I Wish), but I think Our Little Sister has a richness that, although present to some extent in Air Doll, I Wish, and Like Father, Like Son, is somewhat diminished by the more conventional narrative constructions of those films. I think I'd actually go so far as to propose Our Little Sister as a companion piece to Still Walking, with similar emphasis placed on the complexities of familial relationships as framed by the detailed quotidian lives of characters. Of course, the two films do explore these subjects differently, as Our Little Sister is more expansive and leisurely, while Still Walking is more compressed and immediate.

Maybe it's just wishful thinking--like I said, I don't know whether the Criterion/Sony relationship actually does make this release any more likely than those of the previous three films. Even if it does, Criterion hasn't shown much of a commitment to canonizing contemporary Asian auteurs.

And jeez, Criterion artwork at all similar to some of the manga covers would match Still Walking rather well:
Image Image

shadedpain4
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:47 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#80 Post by shadedpain4 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:37 pm

Our Little Sister was my favorite film at TIFF this year. I'll gladly buy an English friendly release regardless of country of origin. Hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.

Thank you for the info. I saw the Amazon.jp listings but couldn't tell the subtitle info.

User avatar
FrauBlucher
Posts: 3003
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#81 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:06 pm


User avatar
manicsounds
Posts: 3888
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#82 Post by manicsounds » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:52 am

"Our Little Sister" won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture, though I was not at all crazy about it...

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#83 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:08 pm

manicsounds wrote:"Our Little Sister" won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture, though I was not at all crazy about it...
Even so, I still want to see it. ;-)

User avatar
manicsounds
Posts: 3888
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#84 Post by manicsounds » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:31 pm


mff
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:14 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#85 Post by mff » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:15 am

" A touching but unsentimental take on sisterly love"

How is this film, in any way, unsentimental?


Didn't like much of the film either, to be honest. This is the only time actually, that I've ended up being disappointed after seeing a film by Koreeda.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#86 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:56 pm

The UK Blu-Ray seems to look okay (but I have nothing to compare it to), but has no significant extras.

As to the movie, I enjoyed it quite a lot and found the performances quite good (as one might expect). Not quite at the high level of After Life or Still Walking (or Like Father Like Son), but a worthwhile effort.

User avatar
mostly asia
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#87 Post by mostly asia » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:31 pm

the BD has soft subs in contrast to the "Like Father, Like Son" release from Arrow!
sadly no bonus except the trailer...
Beaver: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
DeprongMori
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:59 am
Location: San Francisco

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#88 Post by DeprongMori » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:01 pm

I'm still hoping for a release of Distance that won't cost me $40 for a blind-buy DVD. The only release I know of is the 2002 Japanese Bandai release (Beaver review).

Still hoping for the long-awaited restoration and BluRay of Maborosi.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#89 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:19 pm

DeprongMori wrote:I'm still hoping for a release of Distance that won't cost me $40 for a blind-buy DVD. The only release I know of is the 2002 Japanese Bandai release (Beaver review).
There was a cheaper, subbed Korean DVD -- once upon a time.

Still hoping for the long-awaited restoration and BluRay of Maborosi.[/quote]

Milestone considers this an important project, but hasn't had the time to get around to doing it yet.

User avatar
DeprongMori
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:59 am
Location: San Francisco

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#90 Post by DeprongMori » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:50 am

Milestone considers this an important project, but hasn't had the time to get around to doing it yet.
Milestone has certainly had their hands full with lots of important projects. Despite my twitching I've resolved to be patient and understanding. [-o<

User avatar
D50
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#91 Post by D50 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:54 pm

I found Our Little Sister available for purchase / streaming at Amazon.co.uk, but unfortunately, you need to have a UK based credit card on file to get it. Don't see it on Amazon.com.

Is it available anywhere else online in the U.S.?

Don't want to purchase the dvd unless I have to - I'd rather just borrow / watch it.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#92 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:29 pm

If you live anywhere around Boston, drop by and you can watch it at our house. ;-)

User avatar
joshua
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:11 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#93 Post by joshua » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:58 pm

D50 wrote:I found Our Little Sister available for purchase / streaming at Amazon.co.uk, but unfortunately, you need to have a UK based credit card on file to get it. Don't see it on Amazon.com.

Is it available anywhere else online in the U.S.?

Don't want to purchase the dvd unless I have to - I'd rather just borrow / watch it.
Another option is that you might be able to catch it on its current US theatrical release.

User avatar
D50
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#94 Post by D50 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:34 pm

joshua wrote:Another option is that you might be able to catch it on its current US theatrical release.
I know it says August 12 for the Village Square 18 - but I've been checking that theater every Thursday / Friday and never saw it. Dang - I probably missed it.

User avatar
D50
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#95 Post by D50 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:41 am


User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#96 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:51 am

A linguistic note that perhaps belongs as a footnote (or something) on the first page. Kore-eda is not a hyphenated name, even though it looks like one. Rather that "e-e" in the middle (or, alternately, "e'e") means simply that there are two short e's, one after another (more correctly, the kana/syllable "re" followed by the syllable "e"). Simply writing "ee" would misleadingly suggest that there was one long "e" (the syllable "ree"). Accordingly, spelling his name as "Kore-Eda" is best avoided. ;-)

User avatar
FakeBonanza
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:35 pm

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#97 Post by FakeBonanza » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:04 am

It appears that BFI will be publishing a Koreeda monograph by Alexander Jacoby late this year. I stumbled across the Amazon listing, and there doesn't seem to be any more information than that at this point, even on the BFI Publishing site. Nonetheless, it's exciting to (finally) get a book-length study of Koreeda's work.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8461
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#98 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:15 pm

I loved Umimachi Diary, aka Our Little Sister. It is full of so many paired moments that pay off wonderfully throughout the film. It also (despite the "Our Little Sister" title) seems to have shifted the focus more onto the older sisters and especially the seeming focus mostly on the reactions of the 'more uptight' eldest sister Sachi to the revelation of a younger sister by the father's new marriage after he dies (Sachi being the only one with particularly strong memories of the absent father, as he left fifteen years before when the other sisters were young children. Suzu got the childhood with the father that Sachi had, and was denied to the two middle sisters by his absence. I think it is no coincidence that, in the expedition to the view that Sachi used to visit with her father which looks like the view Suzu went to in Yamagata with the father, that the middle two sisters are absent and this is a bonding moment entirely between the oldest and youngest. It also involves a good old shout into the air, a bit like I Wish!). It is an interesting step forward from the 30s-40s something parents in I Wish, and the 'uptight, cold' father in Like Father, Like Son, making that young middle aged generation the central focus of the film rather than on the children, even if the youngest sister Suzu is the catalyst for the drama.

I kept imagining the really heavy handed US version of this material, underlining the dramas too much. Here we get the initial sketching in of the four sisters as kind of stereotypes - the oldest Sachi as a rather businesslike nurse trying to keep her household together in the face of the fracturing of the parent's marriage, with the father going off with a new wife and the mother disappearing from the family home to live elsewhere. The second sister Yoshino is the fashionably dressed one with boyfriends and a burgeoning career in the banking industry. The third sister Chika is the 'kooky' one working in an outdoor sporting goods shop with her boyfriend. And the youngest Suzu is the schoolgirl, introduced in the classic uniform. But just as soon as these stereotypes are sketched in, they all fall away and they just become individual characters in their own right. (Yoshino starts borrowing Sachi's clothes; Suzu and Sachi are suggested to be alike in temperament (Suzu having just cared for her father during her terminal illness; Sachi about to take on that role full time in her job); Suzu is just as often seen in her football team's kit than in official school uniform; Chika for all of her flights of fancy is just as down to earth as her sisters, etc)

The first moment of that comes with Sachi's impulsive offer to Suzu after the funeral to come and live with them (as Suzu is wishing them farewell at the station, getting onto the train no less! In a moment that kind of recalls the scene of the older brother watching the longed for nuclear family slipping away as the train leaves the station in I Wish). I loved the way that you can see both Yoshino and Chika do a bit of an intake of breath, startled at Sachi's offer, but beyond that moment they welcome Suzu with open arms too.

That scene could seem a bit contrived, especially with Suzu's just as sudden and impulsive acceptance just as the train leaves, but I think that is sort of to pre-emptorily head off any accusations of Suzu having alterior motives such as her coming to live with the other three sisters being the mother's choice to abdicate responsibility for Suzu and pass her over to her sibliings to take care of her instead. By Suzu suddenly accepting there and then, there's no chance for even a seed of a doubt about whether her decision is entirely her own, and witnessing that also lets Sachi stand up for her immediately when the aunt (smarting over the father's decision to divorce and run off with another woman, Suzu's mother) suggests that this might have been a motive.

That leads me to one of the great qualities of this film. This isn't a twisty-turny film where you are never sure about whether people have each other's best interests at heart. Instead everyone is a decent person, if troubled by various issues, and there is no real malice intended at any point. That could be seen as a flaw of the film, but I think that 'placid, non-dramatic tension' surface really lets Kore-eda get into the issues that he is really interested in. Life and its moments of serendipity and inevitable change.

There are so many wonderful moments here that I thought worked really well. The little revelation moments such as Chika's fishing throughline of saying that the spot their father moved to would have been great for fishing, to Suzu saying without realising the significance that it was one of their father's favourite pasttimes, then Chika sharing a moment of casting an imaginary line with her boyfriend, sharing the passion anew.

Suzu kind of performs that same function for Sachi too. Sachi's impulsive offer has been interpreted in many different ways by colleagues and extended family members (much like the colder father's actions were in Like Father, Like Son), as being a way of staying in (what was, and arguably still is as much as it ever was) the family home (with absent parents. Like an adult version of Nobody Knows) and not getting married and moving on with life. Maybe she is hanging onto the past too tight and now that the middle two sisters are older and moving on with their lives she has the chance to bring up a sister all over again with Suzu. But its not really a view that audience should be holding, as there is always the feeling that it just 'makes sense' that Suzu is sharing the house with the other sisters - it teaches her about the past (and of praying!) and she has family who will now take care of her rather than Suzu having to care for the father during his terminal illness. And it enriches the lives of the other sisters too, having her around.

But then there is that moment of Suzu saying that she hates that the father left the previous family to live with her mother, and that the act of adultery was wrong. Which beautifully spirals Sachi into her own crisis, as she has been having a burgeoning relationship with a married man herself! More than anything in the scenes with Sachi and Chika, Suzu is acting as the unwitting element providing new information that make the older sisters look at themselves differently.

There is also that wonderful subplot about the two oldest sisters, Sachi and Yoshino, getting thrown into uncomfortable situations by their work. Sachi gets put forward to run a terminal care ward at her hospital job; while Yoshino's up and coming work at her bank sends her out into the field, which involves dealing with restructuring and foreclosing on the debts of local businesses. This all comes together in the fate of the local restuarant and the aging owner, whose debts and health issues force an inevitable closing up shop. I haven't seen this particular issue really tackled in such a manner in a film before, but I loved the way that the film gets at the uncomfortable way that being a success in your job based in the local community suddenly makes you privy to a lot of very personal issues involving people you know in a different sphere of life. The public and private worlds collide as your favourite restuaranteur sits in front of you faced with bankruptcy and the end of her business; or you have to be there for her in her last moments of life. Those are aspects of a job that takes a lot of mental fortitude to deal with.

I especially love that scene where Yoshino drunkenly comes to talk to Sachi about her distress with having to deal with this situation in her work. And Sachi wishes they could talk together about such things without Yoshino having to be drunk to do it! Though this all also ties in with the plum tree wine motif running through the film, of a tie to the grandmother's generation and Suzu carrying it forward, though with the knowledge that the tree too is aging and the crop growing less. It also lets Sachi and her mother bond too when the mother of the three older sisters suddenly reappears in the middle of the film and starts blithely suggesting that she sell the family home, as it only contains (for her) unhappy memories of a fractured marriage.

But that whole 'return of the mother' section that takes up the middle of the film is wonderful for the moment where Sachi and her mother meet again the morning after the argument about selling the house. The mother was planning to drop off some presents before leaving without having to confront the sisters again whilst they were at work, but Sachi just happened to be working the nightshift and so was around. But that completely unexpected moment gives Sachi the chance to be with her mother again and leave things on a happier note (despite the usual moment of an offhand parental comment at a grave making you feel a bit of a failure!), along with a gift of the plum tree wine, both the last of the grandmother's batch and some of Suzu's latest! It is a lovely moment, and (like Sachi surprisingly turning up at the father's funeral by the urging of her doctor boyfriend when she had said that she would not make it, which allows her to meet Suzu), it is a moment that could never have been forced but there is that moment of choice where Sachi has to suddenly make the offer or run after her mother rather than letting the moment pass and be lost. That feels like the kind of moment that this film is all about, and is celebrating.

It is difficult to describe the effect that all of these little moments have cumulatively, and I'm not too sure I'm doing the best job (here's yet another one: I particularly love that Sachi offers Suzu a traditional kimono for the fireworks party, but Suzu says that her football kit will be fine instead. But in the next scene Suzu is wearing the kimono! And it gets approvingly noticed by her boyfriend, so it was worth wearing it! I also love that the fireworks party ties all four of the sisters, in four different locations, together as one. And then Sachi's 'alterior motive' for offering Suzu the kimono is revealed as the sisters have their own little private firework party of their own with kimonos and sparklers!), but I think the main effect that this film left me with, even before the bookending funeral scene and thinking (in the manner of After Life) of what moment you would wish to remember on your death bed, was just an overwhelming sense of wishing the characters all the best in their future lives. And the feeling that they'd all be fine as they had each other.

(It is also the first Kore-eda film where the importance of religion, or at least religious ritual (and perhaps just ritual in general, such as daily tasks or the yearly making of the plum tree wine), comes into play as having an importance from the perspective of comfort and continuity, especially in a world full of casual upheavals of previously held certainties. From the shrine at home to the bookending funeral scenes with smoke rising from the crematorium that puts this into similar territory to Juzo Itami's The Funeral)

I think this might be my favourite of Kore-eda's films right now. By the way I also really liked that we have significant supporting turns from Jun Fubuki (the 'messy laid back' father from Like Father, Like Son) and Ohshirô Maeda (the younger brother from I Wish) as significant figures in Suzu's life - the man who knew her father and has stories for her, rather than Suzu only having to relate stories of the father for her sisters; and the football teammate/potential boyfriend!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:56 am, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8461
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#99 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:47 pm

And before I forget, I think this is an interesting film from the perspective of transport. It is all trains, bicycles and walking for the most significant scenes (the only real significant car journey I can think of is Sachi being driven to Yamagata for the father's funeral by her boyfriend who thinks that she should go. But it occurs offscreen as we follow Yoshino and Chika's train journey there, and then the three sisters go back by train). I don't know if that particularly is meant to mean anything but that felt as if it could be suggesting an interesting local-scale of events, where there is an inherent beauty in walking home with your shopping, I guess!

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Posts: 7352
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#100 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:28 am

Colin -- I love your comments on Umimachi (Ocean Town) Diary. Only disagreement I have is that -- as much as I also loved it -- I still love Still Walking and Life Father a bit more.

Just saw After the Storm (really "Even Deeper than the Sea") on our second try -- the first attempt failed because the projection computer (or whatever) "crashed".

I would (on only one watching) rank the new film around the level of Umimachi Diary. Story-wise this is an inversion of Like Father -- with Abe as the father again -- but this time as a shiftless loser (would-be author currently a rather sleazy private detective -- and first and foremost a destructively obsessive gambler). Maybe a bit "busier" at times than the norm for Kore'eda, and maybe a bit more overt humor. Lots of wonderful moments (and probably more that will only be noted in future viewings).
abe is as believable as a loser-slacker as he was a s the uptight perfectionist in Like Father. Kirin Kiki is again mother/grand mother -- and her performance here strikes me as sort of a mash-up of Chieko Higashiyama and Haruko Sugimura (albeit with a "jollier" overall disposition). As usual, the entire cast is superb (with lots of familiar faces). Glad I got to see this screened -- and now I get to wonder how long the wait will be for a Blu-Ray release...

Post Reply