Friday, September 18, 2009

Dutch composer adapts Hirokazu Kore-eda's film "After Life" from screen to the opera stage

by Chris MaGee

One of the things that makes Hirokazu Kore-eda's 1998 film "After Life" such a masterpiece is that its take on life after death is utterly human and utterly universal. Asking the recently deceased "If you had to pick one memory of your life to take with you into the after life what would it be?" is so simple, but it's a question that cuts across cultures, religions, and languages. It also seems that the concept of the film can also jump from one medium to another if this article posted at Nippon Cinema is any indication.

In 2006 Dutch composer Michel van der Aa adapted Kore-eda's "After Life" into an opera and now it is being staged at the Dutch National Opera starting on September 28th, and the behind the scenes footage at the production's official site looks fascinating, but don't take my word for it. Check out this YouTube clip below that features van der Aa discussing the inspiration to adapt Kore-eda's film, as well as some of the ingenious stage design used to b ring it from screen to stage.

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