Hirokazu Kore-eda

Air Doll, 2009

During a poignant encounter in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s idiosyncratic, yet droll and resonant contemporary fable, Air Doll, a reclusive doll maker, Sonoda (Jô Odagiri) tells a troubled inflatable doll turned video store clerk, Nozomi (Du-na Bae) that the main difference between her and a human being is biodegradability. In a way, Sonoda’s simplified differentiation between burnable… read more »

Distance, 2001

A radio broadcast issues a public service announcement reminding listeners of the third anniversary memorial service for the victims of the Ark of Truth cult disaster, a biological terrorist attack that introduced a genetically engineered virus into the nation’s water supply, leading to the deaths of 128 people and an additional 8,000 illnesses. A quiet… read more »

After Life, 1998

Early Monday morning, four overworked, dedicated counselors are given a motivational speech by their supervisor in preparation for the week’s heavy caseload. A distant bell tolls, and one by one, people emerge from the fog into an empty station, declare their names to an unseen receptionist, and bide their time in the waiting room before… read more »

Maborosi, 1995

An elderly woman (Kikuko Hashimoto) abstractedly walks down the sidewalk of a high traffic bridge, as she often does, determined to return to her childhood village. Her granddaughter chases after her, imploring her to come home, but she continues to walk on. When evening comes, the grandmother’s idiosyncratic ritual becomes cause for concern when she… read more »