Sunday, 7 December 2008

One Of Those Moments - "After Life"

After Life (1998 - Hirokazu Kore-eda)

It's funny how I forgot a number of details about a film whose central theme is memory. Kore-eda's "After Life" tells the story of a week in the life of a way station where people end up right after they die but before they move on to the hereafter. During the week spent at the facility, the newly dead get to decide which one memory they wish to stay with them for all eternity. The staff not only help them work out their decisions, but also then recreate that moment and film it for a final screening session at the end of the week. As each person relives their memory at the screening, they disappear and live on in eternity.

Though I had remembered the basic story arc of the character of Takashi Mochizuki, I had indeed forgotten the beautiful moment that occurs as this shot:

cuts to this one:

Without giving too much away, it's a beautiful end to the particular storyline and a perfect way to encapsulate the character's feelings.

The film is filled with memories - good and bad, joyous and bittersweet - and many of them are actual ones as told by non-actors (the cast list is filled with people who are only in this one movie). Among those guests I can't really tell who is an actor and who isn't - and I have no intention of finding out.

1 comment:

Arbogast said...

I just found out I was tagged to participate in that "Favorite Films A-Z" meme and After Life was the first film that popped into my head for "A." Really a lovely piece.