by Chris MaGee
If you follow the J-Film Pow-Wow blog for even a short amount of time you'll immediately discover that I'm a pretty big fan of director Hirokazu Kore-eda. His 1998 film "After Life" hovers in my top five favorite films of all time and depending on what day you ask me may be my very favorite Japanese film of all time. So when I saw the news at Twitch that the folks at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek would be giving Kore-eda the retrospective treatment I immediately sat up and took notice.
That's right, from August 21st to September 1st the BAMcinématek will not only be showcasing such well known Kore-eda films as "Nobody Knows", "Still Walking", and of course "After Life", but also his little seen documentary works made for Japanese television. Amongst these will be Kore-eda's very first film, the 47-minute documentary "Lessons From a Calf " in which an elementary school class cares for a calf for a year, "August Without Him" that explores the life and death of Hirata Yukata, the first openly gay Japanese man who acknowledged his HIV positive status, and "Without Memory", a portrait of KOre-eda's own father who suffered short-term memory loss due to a bungled medical procedure. Kore-eda has often acknowledged that this last film had a huge influence on the script and production of "After Life".
To read up on all of the films in the retrospective check out the BAMcinématek's website here.