Our second Japanese film of the day (see the brilliant On-Gaku: Our Sound for the first) sees us delve into the great Hirokazu Koreeda’s oeuvre, with his 1998 international breakthrough masterpiece After Life. Asking the question: if you could choose only one memory to hold on to for eternity, what would it be? it tells the story of a group of people who have recently died, and find themselves in a limbo realm selecting a single moment from their life to take with them to the next. What emerges is a panoramic vision of the human experience - its ephemeral joys and lingering regrets - and a quietly profound meditation on memory, our interconnectedness, and the amberlike power of cinema to freeze time.
All attendees will be given a free limited edition riso print created by illustrator Joey Yu specifically commissioned for this screening. And we're delighted that Polly Barton (author of Fifty Sounds, Fitzcarraldo Editions) will be writing an accompanying essay for the screening centring on 'natsukashii' - the Japanese word used when something evokes a fond memory from the past - which audience members will also receive a copy of.
This event has been curated by Dan Levy, selected from Flatpack’s open call for curators from underrepresented groups. It is also part of the BFI’s Film Feels Hopeful season, and we’re grateful for their support in making it happen.