A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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STILL WALKING
2009 - Hirokazu Koreeda - Japan
5

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Hirokazu Kore-eda is easily among my favorite current filmmakers mostly in the simplistic ways he captures the little moments. This is probably Kore-eda's best film since his 1998 masterwork After Life, which I'd consider among my all-time favorite films. Still Walking understands the dynamics of the family, removing the layers to reveal lingering grief and regrets caused from unresolved differences and bitterness. The film is a personal reflection for Kore-eda yet the universal qualities make it so touching, funny, and honest. Still Walking could very well be a title for most of Kore-edas films as this reflects on death and the souls that are still living (and grieving). Still Walking takes place over the course of a day during a family reunion for the death of the eldest child. The film is an honest depiction of family relationships between elderly parents and their children, both for its painful and its tender moments. Kore-eda finds the drama in the moments of anticipation as well as their affect - the very essence of human feelings. The presence or existence of death and life is deeply felt here, particularly in the lovely Yokohama exterior sequences by the gravesite. The beauty of Still Walking is how remarkably moving and thoughtful it is with the effortless touch of its filmmaker. The tone is maybe a little more sentimental (and perhaps more angry) then Yasujiro Ozu or Mikio Naruse, but this belongs mention in that class, for the gentle and subtle approach that few filmmakers can master with such effortlessness. A masterpiece!

Note: Still Walking is currently playing in select American cities and is also available with Video On Demand through IFC In-Theaters Channel. The film has also been available in Region 2/3 DVD formats.
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