After Life Screen 6 articles

After Life

1998

After Life Poster
  • A distinguished documentarist before he turned to fiction, Kore-eda bolstered his conceit in this feature by recording the memories of hundreds of elderly Japanese people, some of whom he cast in this film. Though it comes across as labored in spots, it also yields a good many beautiful and suggestive moments, and an overall film experience of striking originality.

  • I came prepared for some first-rate anecdotes, and wasn't a bit disappointed; the deft characterizations and warm humor, on the other hand, took me completely by surprise, especially after the sloth-paced SomberFest that was this director's previous picture, Maborosi.

  • Thoughtful, quiet, and deeply sympathetic, Kore-eda’s film comprises multiple narratives, large and small, affectionately seeking out singular moments in the lives of its characters (which include a prostitute, a little girl, and, in a nod to Ikiru, a stifled businessman named Watanabe)... With its meditative, humanistic tone, After Life is the cinematic reminiscence of limbo itself, this transitional space of contemplation and nostalgia.

  • The tangle of emotional and cinematic issues here is almost mystical, but the film's simplicity and transparent sincerity make it easy to accept. Koreeda's unique achievement is that he has turned a deeply personal and private problematic into a mirror for every viewer's own fears, desires and memories. 'Masterpiece' seems not too strong a word.

  • Hirokazu Kore-eda seamlessly synthesizes the creative visual imagery of feature film with the provocative honesty of the documentary to create the sublimely poignant and haunting After Life. Similar to Alain Resnais, Kore-eda examines the complex, symbiotic relationship between memory and altered perception.

  • The film offers both 1) a burned-out bureaucratic agency, replete with workers – clad in bland logo-marked uniforms – suffering fatigue and struggling earnestly in meetings with staff and clients; and 2) a dazzling apotheosis of cinema’s revelatory capacity, collapsing a year’s worth of stunning seasonal change into one week and featuring endearing protagonists reminiscing upon their grandest joy.