Another beautifully observed film about family life in modern Japan from Kore-eda. This is the story of Ryota, a prize winning author who has gambled away his fame and fortune, and is close to losing contact with his son Shingo because of his failure to pay child support. Ryota, now working as a gumshoe of dubious scrupulousness, nevertheless endeavours to maintain a good relationship with Shingo for reasons to do with his own father’s failings. Their visits to Ryota’s mother, now widowed and successfully rebuilding her life, are both amusing and endearing. As the storm clouds of the title gather, will this bring new beginnings for Ryota? “Simplicity is paradoxically complex in Kore-eda’s movies. The domestic space is so beautifully realised.” (John Bleasdale, cine-vue.com)
Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda 118mins Japan 2016
Alex Jacoby, a leading expert on Japanese cinema, returns again to ABCD to introduce and discuss this film.
We welcome once again leading Japanese cinema expert, Alex Jacoby, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Oxford Brookes University, to introduce and discuss this comedy drama from Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows, 2004: Still Walking, 2008).
Continuing in the humanist tradition of Japanese cinema of the ’50s and ’60s, After the Storm focuses on private detective Shinoda Ryota, played by Hiroshi Abe (Godzilla 2000,1999: Thermae Romae, 2012), struggling to find money for child support and trying to re-connect with his son and ex-wife in the wake of his father’s death.
The film won the 2018 Best Supporting Actress at the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film Awards for Kirin Kiki who, with great sensitivity, performed the role of Shinoda Yoshiko, Ryota’s mother. Kiki died aged 75 years in September this year, having accumulated over 125 acting credits across five decades of film work. In 2017, After the Storm was also voted Best Non-US Release by the American On-Line Critics’ Society Awards.
Acknowledgments: Brookes.ac.uk; IMDb.com; CriterionReflections.blogspot.com; derekwinnert.com
“This is Kore-eda at his very best, facing up to the hardest truths with honesty and a nervous laugh, uncomfortable, invigorating, and ultimately cleansing, like the cinema’s equivalent of a cold shower. And I mean that in the best way possible” Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage
“No director working today observes family life with such delicacy and care, or is so unstintingly generous with what they find” Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Hiroshi Abe – Shinoda Ryota
Kirin Kiki – Shinoda Yoshiko, Ryota’s mother
Yoko Maki – Shiraishi Kyoko, Ryota’s ex-wife
Taiyo Yashizawa – Shiraishi Shingo, Ryota’s son
Satomi Kobayashi – Chinatsu Nakashima
Sosuke Ikematsu – Kento Machida
Director – Hirokazu Kore-eda
Producers – Tsugihiko Fujiwara et al
Screenplay – Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cinematography – Yutaka Yamazaki
Original Music -Hanaregumi
- A for Alex!
- Alex Jacoby terrific – again next year please!
- The film had an organic nature that left a warm impression thanks to the lead characters bringing vibrancy to this solid slice-of-life piece. Jacoby’s opening talk brought an interesting comparison with Ozu and his films’ themes of family and death
- Delightful – what a quirky sense of humour the Japanese have
- Very enjoyable. I had not realised the Japanese had such a sense of irony
- (Good) quality acting and nice clear subtitles. Lovely song at the closure of this film
- A very touching film – aren’t grandmas wonderful!
- Grandma rules OK!
- Some fascinating themes – great acting. Maybe a bit overlong
- Useful introduction, beautiful film, interesting relationships, rather long
- Very appealing, if a bit slow but could you really recover lottery tickets in a typhoon?
- A storm in a teacup. Good comedy. Can see why Kirin Kiki got an award
- Obviously the Japanese obsession with avoiding litter doesn’t apply to the (velodrome) track!