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If you had to choose one memory from your life to serve as your personal heaven, which would you choose? Wandafuru raifu ワンダフル•ライフ (After Life), 1998, dir. Kore’eda Hirozaku introduces a way-station in the afterlife in which the recently deceased choose one treasured memory to have recreated into a personal film. After Life blurs the line with documentary elements amid its fictional narrative while exploring how our most valued memories are distorted, embellished and revised. The film explores not only the metaphysical afterlife, but the after-lives of memories themselves.
After Life features Arata Iura and Susumu Terajima and runs 118 minutes.
Afterlives: Films of Life and Rebirth from Japan
Wednesdays in February at 7 PM, Claudia Cohen Hall, Room 402
Every February, the Center for East Asian Studies and JASGP co-present a free series of themed films. This year’s film series ties to the Wolf Humanities Center 2017-18 theme of Afterlives. Whether religious or secular, medical or magical, and horror or fantasy, the topic of afterlives is a favorite media topic. The specter of nuclear half-life hangs over Record of a Living Being and Godzilla Resurgence — the latter a “reboot” of Japan’s best-known monster. Ringu, which was remade as The Ring in the United States and inspired domestic Japanese sequels, touches on both the spiritual and technological afterlife, while After Life centers around the persistence of memories.
Afterlives: Films of Life and Rebirth from Japan is a free film series, open to the public.
February 7: Kurosawa Akira, Ikimono no kiroku 生きものの記錄 (Record of a Living Being, a.k.a. I Live In Fear), 1955
February 14: Kore’eda Hirokazu, Wandafuru raifu ワンダフル•ライフ (After Life), 1998
February 21: Nakata Hideo, Ringu リング (Ring), 1998
February 28: Anno Hideaki, Shin Gojira シン・ゴジラ (Godzilla Resurgence), 2016