Of Flesh and Blood: The Cinema of Hirokazu Kore-eda
We celebrate a master of contemporary Japanese cinema with a two-month season of diverse, beautiful and human stories.
Part 1 (April)
“I’m so entranced by what unfolds in front of the camera. It seems wonderfully out of my control”
In 2018, Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Cannes Palme d’Or for Shoplifters, capping a quarter-century career in feature filmmaking that has made him the most critically acclaimed and among the most widely distributed of contemporary Japanese live-action directors. The austerely beautiful style and haunting ambiguity of his fiction debut, Maborosi, announced a distinctive talent, while Nobody Knows and Still Walking cemented his reputation as an heir to Ozu and a chronicler of the modern Japanese family. But his characters range from the samurai of Hana to the blow-up doll come to life in Air Doll, and he proved as adept in the fantasy setting of After Life as in his realist dramas. This two-part retrospective celebrates the richness, diversity, beauty and humanity of Kore-eda’s cinema.
Part 2 (May)
“Kore-eda has long been hailed as one of the world’s top drama filmmakers”
In the last decade, Kore-eda’s cinema has gone from strength to strength. With his films now virtually guaranteed critical acclaim, commercial success and international attention, he’s been able to direct more frequently. He continues to explore fresh territory, as in courtroom drama The Third Murder, but his central subject remains the Japanese family. In this, Kore-eda seems ever more the heir to Ozu, and increasingly he works, like Ozu, with a company of regular actors – most notably the late Kirin Kiki – who enact variations on a set of key themes, helping to imbue his work with a specific and personal flavour. With a forthcoming film, La Vérité, shot in France with an international cast, thus marking a new departure, it’s a fitting time to take stock of his recent work.
Don’t miss this exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness and uncertainty
The BFI is proud to release a four-disc Blu-ray boxset celebrating the works of Kore-eda this summer.