Feature Four Frames

On the threshold to adulthood: Yusuke Iseya’s Kakuto

At the age of 26, the Japanese actor and model Yusuke Iseya made his directorial debut: Kakuto (2002), produced by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, in whose films After Life (Wandafaru raifu, 1998) and Distance (2001) Iseya had previously been cast. He stars in Kakuto, and he also wrote the script together with Takamasa Kameishi. The title “kakuto” […]

Double Bill Feature

Double Bill: Rashomon & After Life

It is perhaps unusual to deal with Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Rashomon (Japan, 1950) and another film in such a short article. However, when I watched Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s After Life (Wandafaru raifu, Japan, 1998), I was immediately struck by the parallels between this film and Rashomon. Both deal with memory, the relativity of all things, and […]


A family with a dinner table: Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s Still Walking

Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s Still Walking (Aruitemi aruitemo, 2008) starts with two women preparing a meal, the older woman giving advice to the younger one. This first long sequence sets the tone of the film and signals the filmmaker’s emphasis on everyday life, which is supported by the narrative and by other aesthetic means. Depicting twenty-four hours […]