by Chris MaGee
Yale University is one of the U.S.'s most prestigious learning institutions, and last month it played host to one of Japan's most respected film-maker's, namely Hirokazu Koreeda. The "Still Walking" and "Air Doll" director was in New Haven, Conneticut on February 25th by the invitation of Yale's Council on East Asian Studies. Koreeda presented his early 1996 documentary "Without Memory", took part in a Q&A with the audience, and most interestingly gave a workshop for a group of lucky students.
Aaron Gerow, Associate Professor of Film Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale moderated portions of the event and has chronicled Koreeda's visit on his blog. Gerow makes special mention of a trio of films that Koreeda showed clips from during his workshop that give a bit of insight into his inspirations - Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "The Birds", Frederico Fellini's drama "Nights of Cabiria" and Akira Kurosawa's humanist masterpiece "Ikiru". If you head to Aaron Gerow's blog here you can read about how these films affected Koreeda and how one of them influenced his 1998 film "After Life".