Printer Friendly

A dialogue through memories: Still Walking.

The link between memory and identity is the wellspring for Kore-eda Hirokazu's work in such films as Maborosi (Maborosi no hikari, 1995), Without Memory (Kioku ga ushinawareta toki, 1996), After Life (Wandafuru raifu, 1998), Distance (Disutansu, 2001), and Air Doll (Kuki ningyo, 2009). According to an interview, the film Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo, 2008) was originally inspired by Kore-eda's memories of his mother, which he had gathered during his intermittent conversations with her from 2004 to 2006, the year of her death (see Michida). He began writing the screenplay soon after her death and directed the film in the following year. Although all characters in the film are fictional and the protagonist, Ryota (Abe Hiroshi), bears little resemblance to the director himself, Still Walking speaks from Kore-eda's personal memory, especially in its complex portrayal of the mother (Kiki Kirin) as a witty and warm character, yet one who occasionally shows resentment and tenacious jealousy. In his afterword, Kore-eda highlights the connection between the film and his personal memory: "I didn't intend that the film be about how all Japanese are alike, but rather I wanted to depict how my family was" ("Futsu" 82). Nonetheless, many of the reviews in Japan have emphasized how the film conducts the viewer's identification with the loss of family through sharing the ephemeral moment with aging parents. An article in the film magazine Kinema Junpo, for instance, describes the film's evocation of such sentiments that any Japanese would take as their own (see Kanazawa). The film succeeds in conveying the affect, personal and at once ubiquitous, of familial loss and synthesizing Kore-eda's personal memory with that of a typical Japanese family, and perhaps with global audiences as well.

This essay questions the link between cinema and memory, focusing on personal memory, a fundamental component of individual identity, which is shared with others through the medium of cinema. How does cinema address memory, individually or culturally? How does it enable the problematic identification of personal memory, which is appropriated as others' memories? More specifically, how does the particular memory--either individual or cultural--create meaning for global audiences? Borrowing philosopher Daniel C. Dennett's concept of personal identity as "confabulation," in which the self is a result of various threads such as self-narration rather than an ontological existence of a person with body and mind, this essay interrogates the processes through which cinema uses memory-narrative to reproduce, at once, individual and collective memory (1028).

Memory Props

The inquiry on memory's relation to "authenticity" has long been discussed, and, as Susannah Radstone and Katharine Hodgkin state, "currently the notion that memory is constituted through representation is widely accepted" (12). Grasping the relationship among "memory," "representation," and "authenticity," therefore, requires a certain shared premise before we start analyzing the film. This essay hypothesizes that a representational mode such as cinema both records one's memory and provokes the viewer to recall his/her own memory or even to conflate the film's memory with his/her own. Cinema not only conveys the authenticity of memory in its mimetic faculty, but it also functions as memory itself. Walter Benjamin once wrote on his faith in the written word and its capacity to "illuminate the nature of nonsensuous similarity" in its relation with what it signifies (335). In the cinema's case, props among other elements of mise-en-scene can function as reliquaries of memory that trigger a sense of shared experience, such as nostalgia and sorrow. A film's "memory props" can visually register not only the locale of memory, but its temporal aspect as well.

Still Walking's plot focuses on one late summer day when all family members gather for the son's memorial. His death occurred over ten years ago, when he rescued a little boy from drowning at the cost of his own life. The film ends also with a hot summer day, probably four or five years later, when another son, the protagonist Ryota, and his new family, visit the family grave. His mother is no longer there with him, but instead his wife (Natsukawa Yui), stepson Atsushi (Tanaka Shohei), and daughter accompany him. But the two pieces of temporally distinct images/memories on screen, "now" and "then," are consciously juxtaposed by skipping the five-year temporal duration, as if we are looking at still photo images captured in different times.

In the film, Kore-eda places the image of an old wardrobe lacking one drawer, a gaping hole, as one of the film's memory props (see Figure 1). The "missing" drawer has kept old photos for a long time, never organized, and now the mother brings them out to reveal her family history. This image of the hole signifies a pile of memories, temporally and spatially compressed. As viewers, we never see the actual photos, but the mother narrates their contents and from where and when they came. Her narrative literally resuscitates the past to the present through the medium of "unseen" photographs.

The gaping hole makes the chronology of the family--Ryota's as well as his parents'--intersect with the home, a place for preservation of memories. Ryota grumbles that his parents have turned his upstairs room into a storeroom and "buried" a number of useless things from the past, and indeed the drawer in which the family's memories have piled up is located in that storeroom as if it is the center of a memorial whirlpool. The "gaping hole" and the "storeroom" are connected not only in terms of spatial continuity but also temporally. Radstone and Hodgkin sensibly point out "the difficulty of attempting to theorise memory in relation to both time and space" (18) by drawing from Freud's insight: "the same space cannot have two different contents" ("Civilization and Its Discontents" 70-71). The image in front of us, however, suffices to indicate the possibility that various temporal moments, in the form of photography, can share in the same space of the seemingly infinite dark hollow. The image of a hollow in the wardrobe is a representation of "depth," in Freud's words "a historical sequence in spatial terms" (70). The temporal-spatial nexus is now available for us to sense through the medium, cinema, with its memory-narrative. The drawer is put back in place at the end of the film, as if the memories, cohabiting with the family photos, need to be preserved again, perhaps for the next visitor, or they might simply be "buried" forever. Yet, on the level of cinema as mechanical reproduction, this act of retrieving and storing a memory occurs repeatedly, a cycle that overlaps Kore-eda's act of "telling" a personal memory with the audience's experience of the memory-narrative, thereby ensuring the memory's continuance.

The memory-narrative of Still Walking deploys a wide range of other memory props, from the mother's homemade corn tempura (deep-fried corn) to a Japanese popular song from the late 1960s, "Blue Light Yokohama." The family members repeatedly mutter "it's nostalgic, isn't it" when they engage with those experiences. The mother, who has secretly kept the vinyl record for a long time, asks Ryota to play it on the old record player. She tells no one its title, and a moment of suspense occurs. The close-up shows Ryota's fingers gently putting down the player's arm, then the antiquated melody starts to fill the diegetic space after the scratchy sound of a stylus (see Figure 2). (1) Interestingly, the word "stylus" has double meanings as a pointed instrument for writing on wax or other suitable surfaces and a needle for reproducing the sounds of a phonograph record. (2) In other words, it functions as a tool for, at once, inscribing and extracting something of memory. The sequence of playing the vinyl record represents the moment of the latter, and the stylus retrieves the memory "recorded" with the hackneyed, but nevertheless cherished popular song. Here, memory is actually not singular, but plural "memories," recorded not only in the mother's mind, but also Ryota's and the rest of the family members', who share the act of listening to the lyrics "we walk forever and ever.[...]" This ripple of experiencing memory also reaches to the audience, as long as they have experienced the song somewhere and sometime in the popular cultural imagination to which the song belongs.

While some of the props are directly drawn from Kore-eda's own memories, such as the corn tempura, his mother's recipe (see Figure 3), and the music, his favorite pop song from his childhood, (3) those memory props from real life are cinematically mediated and displayed alongside other fabricated ones in the film's confabulation.

For instance, one memorable image of broken tiles in the bathroom at Ryota's parents' house acts as a signifier of their aging and their neglect of house-maintenance (see Figure 4). Although the image is first presented as Ryota's point of view, the duration of the shot and the camera's low position fix the viewers' attention to the image and convey the sentiment to them. In other words, we share Ryota's perception of the scene. As a result, the image becomes ours, the viewers' "memory" as well, as the topic of the broken tries reoccurs in the family members' conversation. The dissolving boundaries between fiction and reality, mediated and unmediated, are enforced by the cinema's technique of representing a "second-order reality," in Thomas Elsaesser's terms, or creating authenticity (see "One Train"). As l analyzed in my essay on contemporary Japanese films that use documentary-style, Kore-eda's films take part in the new cinema's negotiation with cinematic "'authenticity'--a sense of the real" under the current technological transformations wrought by digital modes of production and distribution (Wada-Marciano 72).

Mimetic Faculty

In the same essay, I also highlighted Kore-eda's ability at mimicking the logic and aesthetic of new media, his awareness of "what a video camera and its editorial processing can and cannot do" (79). In Still Walking, on the other hand, Kore-eda reveals his mimetic faculty of memory in the world of cinema, intermediating memory within the film and across different films, especially in the vernacular genre of "home drama." The film critic Tony Rayns asserts the dissimilarity between Still Walking and "home drama." Rayns writes:
 Let's be clear what the film isn't. It's not a "home drama" in the
 Ozu style: the structure and shots aren't formalized in that way,
 it describes an altogether messier situation than you'd find in an
 Ozu film (many shots feature all three generations, each going its
 own way and following its own rhythm), and it uses its snatches of
 everyday business to imply the history of every relationship--which
 is something Ozu never needed to do (67).

However, against his argument, a number of Japanese reviews and interviews emphasize Still Walking's characteristic association with "home drama," (4) and Kore-eda himself states that he intended to make "a story about family (kazoku no monogatari)" (Kore-eda "Mizukara" 107). In the interview, Kore-eda frames the film with a slight twist: "As I say this film is about a story of family, people often compare it with Ozu's films. But personally I find Naruse's characters to be more interesting than Ozu's, since they are no good and spoiled" (107).

As the sociologist Sakamoto Kazue points out, "home drama" is more than simply a term for a group of films but a social code in Japan, especially during the postwar period (180). There are various opinions regarding the term's origin and history, but Japanese cinema promoted the term "home drama" the most among all media from the 1950s to the late 1970s (181). And indeed Still Walking shares the essential characteristics of "home drama" in two ways: a leveling of class differences and an emphasis on women, particularly the matriarchal family (355-356). Borrowing Sakamoto's term, a rather "class-less image" has been placed in both many "home dramas" and Still Walking. Ryota's father (Harada Yoshio) is a retired doctor, whose tastes run to such trite entertainments as J-league soccer and enka songs, and who self-consciously keeps up the appearance of being a doctor. Indeed, his wife and daughter (YOU) continually undermine his status-conscious pretenses, as when the women joke about his stubborn refusal to reveal his demoted status by carrying a plastic shopping bag in public. The film uses the women's conversations to enforce the postwar ideology of middle class normativity.

But proving the connection between Still Walking and "home drama" is not my point here. What interests me most is rather the film's mimicry of "home drama" as a genre, geographically and temporally connected to the Japanese culture from the 1950s to the 1970s. Sakamoto asserts that the genre's code is not so much a reflection of the society as it is a "distorted mirror," since Japan during the period of the economic miracle did have disparities in class based on income and life style that the genre assuaged with its illusion of sameness, a sense of everyone as middle-class. She continues:
 The crucial change provided by home drama was that it
 established the image of sameness (doitsusei) through
 the image of "family." Home drama is not simply a
 story about family, but rather a social phenomenon in
 a sense that people persisted in making stories about
 "family" and in occupying the interest of the audience
 for a certain period of time (374).

What Kore-eda mimics through the film is not simply the stylistic aspects of "home drama" that concern Rayns, but rather this social code, which ebbed at the beginning of the 1980s with the appearance of "anti-home drama" such as Saito Kosei's Leveling Down Building Blocks (Tsumiki kuzushi, 1983) and Morita Yoshimitsu's The Family Game (Kazoku gemu, 1983). In the following section, I will examine how this mimesis operates through Kore-eda's film especially by focusing on multiple acts of mimicry, which, I argue, are crucial aspects of "confabulation," a dialogue that resonates between Kore-eda's memory and the characters', the film's memory and ours, the audience's.

The film first represents some acts of mimicry between the mother and her son, Ryota. The exact lines that she mutters on her family grave--"It was so hot, all day today. The water must feel good."--are later repeated by Ryota, and her seemingly made-up story of a yellow butterfly is also replicated by him as well. As he finds a yellow butterfly much later, Ryota tells the same story to his daughter: "They say butterflies that survive the winter come back yellow the following year." In reply to her saying, "Sounds made up to me," Ryota utters, "That's what I heard." Although he does not remember from whom he has heard this, it is for us to remember where and when this has been said. That is a moment of "confabulation" among the mother, Ryota, and the audience.

The act of mimicry occurs not only within the film's diegetic space, but in a cinematic space that resonates with the history of cinema. The camera captures the shot of a small bouquet of crape myrtle in a mundane glass cup sitting on a kitchen table, the flower which was given earlier by the visiting grandchildren to Ryota's mother (see Figure 5). The dimly lit shot has no movement, camera or otherwise, in its diegetic space, and the camera avoids specifying the shot's point-of-view structure. Is the compartmentalized memory supposed to be Kore-eda's, via his surrogate figure, Ryota? Neither the prior nor the following shot, however, provides a clue to the POV's provenance. One must recall the shot's resemblance to the flower vase sequence in Ozu Yasujiro's Late Spring (Banshun, 1949) (see Figure 6). Due to the sequence's unattributed viewpoint, various scholars have interpreted Ozu's image differently, especially the function of the three-time-repeated vase shots. Arguing against Paul Schrader and Donald Richie, who in slightly dissimilar terms "assume that Noriko (Hara Setsuko) sees the vase and this causes the change in her reaction" towards her father's (Ryu Chishu) remarriage, David Bordwell writes that "it is not even clear that the vase is the object at issue in the cutaways," and he reaches the conclusion that "the POV structure remains open" (117). What Kore-eda mimics in the aforementioned flower shot is precisely this "openness," which Bordwell describes as "a cliche of 'Japaneseness'." Much as Ozu did in Late Spring, Koreeda frays the POV cues and makes the scene's beholder obscure.

To the delight of the cinephile, this mimicry of Ozu's work occurs in Still Walking repeatedly. Right before leaving his parents' house, Ryota goes out to the beach with his father and his stepson Atsushi, and the camera captures a two-shot of Ryota and his father standing in parallel and viewing the sea together (see Figure 7). The shot's narrative contribution is trivial and simply reveals a slice of life when they can finally communicate after arguing throughout his visit. The shot's lack of contribution to the narrative development and, of course, its composition, remind us of a morning scene in Tokyo Story (Tokyo monogatari, 1953), when Noriko (Hara Setsuko) views a beautiful dawn with her father-in-law Shukichi (Ryu Chishu) (see Figure 8). Shukichi absentmindedly murmurs to Noriko about the beautiful scenery of the dawn and how today will be another hot day, and she simply shares the view without any words. Kore-eda's mimicry, then, becomes convincing with the repeated landscape of the sea in Still Walking. The film begins and ends with the view of the sea, the suburban residences, and a train passing through (see Figure 9). Kore-eda is, again, scrambling the visual cues of the scene's POV. In Tokyo Story, on the other hand, the film shows us the same kind of local landscape, but half a century ago, with the sea, houses, and a passing train. Kyoko (Kagawa Kyoko), Noriko's sister-in-law, views a very similar landscape thinking of Noriko and her return to Tokyo (see Figure 10).

The cinematic mimicry that mediates between films from different generations is immediately sensed if not recognized by the audience, whose interest in Kore-eda's film is, after all, situated within art-house cinema in the global market. In other words, this is an audience interested, for various reasons, in Japanese cinema from the beginning. This pattern of consumption, a familiar product for a familiar audience, is fully apparent discursively such as in contributions to The New York Times' "Readers' Reviews." The review goes:

This movie is filmed beautifully with attention to the details of daily living. It reminded me of Ozu's Tokyo Story in its portrayal of a family. It is a contemporary depiction of modern day Japan although the traditions of respect for family elders, food, life and death are very present. The modern touches are in its use of music and its forthright presentation of psychology (Drjp 1025).

As this review clearly indicates, what Kore-eda's film embodies through these acts of cinematic mimicry taps into the popular memory, which is not limited to Japan but rather expanded in the global market as "Japanese cinema." Those diversified and mixed "memories" are displayed throughout the film's diegetic space as if they belong to "Japan" or "Japanese cinema." The ingenuity of Kore-eda's films lies in how they tend to shuffle those "Japanese" memories with something else, such as the recurring images of hands (see Figures 11 & 12) in Still Walking, which let us recall other similarly poetic images of hands in cinema, such as the one in Robert Bresson's A Man Escaped (Un condemne a mort s 'est echappe/Le vent souffle oil il veut, 1956) (see Figure 13). Those intertextualized images/memories are displayed in the memory-architecture that Kore-eda carefully builds on the already structured knowledge of film history in Japan or elsewhere, and he expresses it as a reproduction of "home drama," the popular family melodrama, which was itself made out of the postwar cultural imaginary.

"Forgotten" Memory

My essay has so far focused on Kore-eda's conscious attempt at playing with memory props or building up a memory-architecture during his film production, i.e., how he uses memory in Still Walking. In this last section I contemplate the opposite, how he avoids using memory, more precisely how he tries to "forget" memory in this film.

Japan's screen industry is known for its high density of converging media, the near simultaneity of multiple platforms for a particular "content." As Darrell William Davis and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh characterize it:
 Japan's huge production, consumption and intricate
 distribution networks make it the area heavyweight,
 the biggest screen player--yet set apart from
 regional trends. [...] The screen industry is a gigantic
 enterprise with complex links between film, video,
 television, telecommunication, animation, publishing,
 advertising and game design (64-65).

In the case of Still Walking, Kore-eda eschewed incorporating screen media for the promotion of the film. Instead, he applied the bus-iness strategy of "one-source-multi-use" in the age of media convergence culture by launching solely into printed forms tied with his film. Kore-eda first published his serial essays titled "Being Slightly Late, All the Time (Chottodake maniawanai)" in the Japanese magazine, Switch, from December 2007 to July 2008; simultaneously, he published a fictional treatment of Still Walking in another bimonthly magazine, Papyrus, in the form of three installments from February 2008 to June 2008; then, that narrative was reprinted as a novel in May 2008 (see Figure 14). The film's domestic release followed those printed media in June 2008. (5)

The significant gap between the novel and the film--in other words, between the written memory and the oral/visual memory--is that the latter completely omits the period between the day in late summer at the parents' house and the day when Ryota revisits his family grave, a duration of approximately five years. The "forgotten memory" is, however, inscribed in the novel, depicting the mother suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage and senile dementia in the hospital for terminal care. One can find a clue for why this particular memory was forgotten in the director's statement for the film's official homepage. Kore-eda writes there that making this film started with his regret that he did nothing for his mother while she was alive, and he chose to make the film as a "cheerful (akarui)" drama instead of describing the process of the dying mother (107). (6) In other words, Kore-eda intended that his film not take part in the already prevalent discourse about dying parents in Japan, established with films such as Toyoda Shiro's Senile People (Kokotsu no hito, 1973), Haneda Sumiko's How to Care for the Senile (Chihosei rojin no sekai, 1986), Haneda Sumiko's All's Well That Ends Well (Owari yokereba subete yoshi, 2006), Haruyo Kato's The Cheese and the Worms (Chizu to ujimushi, 2005), and Matsuoka Joji's Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (Tokyo tawa: Okan to boku to, tokidoki, oton, 2007), the last film featuring the same actress, Kiki Kirin, as a mother dying of cancer.

Then, what does this "forgotten memory" actually mean to the audience? Janet Walker's concept of "traumatic paradox" might usefully address the question. After defining trauma through Freud's conception of "the phenomenon as being related to an exogenous matter, the result of an actual external shock to the psyche" (106), Walker indicates the significance of mistakes or amnesiac elements in the process of expressing traumatic experiences, as follows:
 Such theories of traumatic memory suggest that,
 whereas popular and legal discourses tend to reject
 reports of traumatic experiences that contain mistakes
 or amnesiac elements, these very mistakes and
 amnesiac elements are actually a feature of traumatic
 experience itself. Far from belying the truth of an
 event, an imagined scene that seems untrue may be
 inextricably, but obliquely, connected to and catalyzed
 by real events of the past (106-107).

What she reminds us of with the significance of amnesia is indeed often proved in many Holocaust survivors' narratives. Analyzing Claude Lantzmann's Shoah (1985), W.J.T. Mitchell, for instance, illustrates the fact that the film "excludes a certain kind of visual memory and narration, refusing to show any documentary footage of the concentration camps or of the war" (201). Instead Mitchell finds the moment of memory conjured up in the film's "interlocutors, painstakingly reconstructing not only 'what happened' [...], but how it felt, how it looked, what the experience was" (201). I need to remind the reader of the film's image of a pastoral landscape with practically nothing there, which has completely substituted for the horror and suffering at Auschwitz. Against the gaps between past and present, invisible and visible, the film nonetheless succeeds in expressing a "visual" memory, which is conveyed by the interviewee's strong refusal to relive the unbearable memory.

Returning to the case of Still Walking, what is expressed in the narrative gap--the forgotten memory--between the film and those printed "paratexts," in Gerard Genette's term, is a voice without sound, a view without image, and a sorrow without a death, which might only be grasped by the audience/reader adept in the Japanese cultural imaginary. While the forgotten memory has only been disseminated by language, via those printed media, it may still be sensed by all viewers without the means of reading Japanese, as the residue of nostalgia, "a state of longing for something that is known to be irretrievable, but is sought anyway" (Cook 3).


I think it is especially the case for a so-called art film such as Still Walking that a film often locates its audience. Kore-eda clearly made the film as "home drama," depicting a slice of life through which he remembers his mother. He writes in the aforementioned statement: "I wanted to make a movie where I could immediately recognize my mother in it" ( Still, how can a film that revolves around such a personal memory be shared with others? In this essay, I have examined the function of memory props, the acts of mimesis, and the meaning of forgotten memory in the film, all of which are presented within the form of "home drama," a Japanese social code, and encourage a wide range of audiences' identification with the feeling of nostalgia. This vernacular film genre positions its audience as typically middle-class, whether sitting peacefully in front of television, loving art cinema, or knowing the sorrow caused by a loved one's death. The film even reveals the perfect moment of identification to such audiences by showing the scene of the family members watching television (see Figure 15), in which the three women, the mother at center, are transfixed by the news on television. What Kore-eda replicates in this shot is the absolute banality that one remembers and misses the most, the everydayness which was lost through his mother's death.

Kore-eda reiterates his interest in memory in his following film, Air Doll, in which an inflatable sex doll (Bae Du-na) suddenly comes to life. She just wants to be like a human being, and even fakes a memory of seeing the ocean. This time, Kore-eda represents a "colonial mimicry," in Homi K. Bhabha's term, through her confabulated memory, which reveals "the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite" (86). And so I wonder, who could argue that such a memory is any less reliable, or authentic, than the memory which we have undergone through in our "dialogue" with Still Walking?
















Works Cited

Benjamin, Walter. Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. New York and London: A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book; Harcourt, 1979. Print.

Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. Print.

Bordwell, David. Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema. London: BFI; Princeton: Princeton UP, 1988. Print.

Cook, Pam. Screening the Past: Memory and Nostalgia in Cinema. London and New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.

Davis, Darrell William, and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh. East Asian Screen Industries. London: BFI, 2008. Print.

Dennett, Daniel. "Why Everyone Is a Novelist." Times Literary Supplement 4459. 16-22 Sept. 1988.1016, 1028-1029. Print.

Drjp 1025, Los Angeles, CA. "A Thoughtful Movie." The New York Times. 13 Sept. 2009. Web. 7 March 2010.

Elsaesser, Thomas. "'One Train May Be Hiding Another': Private History, Memory and National Identity." n. pag. Apr. 1999. Web. 16 Feb. 2010. This article was first published in Josef Delau, et. al., eds., The Low Countries. Arts and Society in Flanders and the Netherlands--A Yearbook, 1996-1997. Flemish-Nederlands Foundation Ons Erfdeel, Murissonstraat 260, 8930 Rekken, Belgium.

Freud, Sigmund. "Civilization and Its Discontents." The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 21. Translated from the German under the general editorship of James Strachey, in collaboration with Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alison Tyson. London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1961. Print.

Genette, Gerard. Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Trans. Jane E. Lewin. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge UP, 1997. Print.

Kanazawa Masashi. "Interview with Kore-eda Hirokazu." Kinema Junpo 1511 (1 July 2008): 50- 56. Print.

Kore-eda Hirokazu. "Chottodake maniawanai." Switch (March 2007): 130-131, and Switch (April 2007): 146-147. Print.

--. "Futsu no kazoku no futsu no ichinichi." Kokoku Hihyo 326 (May 2008): 78-83. Print.

--. "Mizukara no taiken wo kasaneta aru kazoku no monogatari." Elle (August 2008): 107. Web. 18 March 2010.

--. http:/ Accessed 18 March 2010.

Michida Yoichi. "Eiga kantoku Kore-eda Hirokazu: Jibun no kimochi o seirisuru tsumoride kono eiga o totta." Tsukuru (July 2008): 88-91. Print.

Mitchell, W.J.T. Picture Theory. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 1994. Print.

Radstone, Susannah, and Katharine Hodgkin. "Regimes of Memory: An Introduction." Memory Cultures: Memory, Subjectivity and

Recognition. Ed. Susannah Radstone and Katharine Hodgkin. New Brunswick and London: Transaction, 2006. 1-22. Print.

Rayns, Tony. Rev. of Still Walking. Film Comment 45.4 (July-August, 2009): 67-68. Print.

Sakamoto Kazue. Kazoku imeji no tanjyo: Nihon eiga ni miru homu dorama no keisei. Tokyo: Shin'yosha, 1997. Print.

Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo. "Capturing 'Authenticity': Digital Aesthetics in the Post-Studio Japanese Cinema." Canadian Journal of Film Studies 18.2 (Spring 2009): 71-93. Print.

Walker, Janet. "The Traumatic Paradox: Autobiographical Documentary and the Psychology of Memory." Contested Pasts: The Politics of Memory. Ed. Katharine Hodgkin and Susannah Radstone. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.104-199. Print.

Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language. Print.


(1) The word "stylus" originates in Greek "stulos" and transferred to Latin "stilus," meaning "stake, pointed writing instrument." The word is now becoming common again as a computer accessory, such as the one for the portable game Nintendo DS, but it has mostly been used for the needle of a record player. See "stylus" in Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language.

(2) Ibid.

(3) See Kore-eda's essays on the film, published as a serial in six parts. Kore-eda Hirokazu, "Chottodake maniawanai," Switch (March 2007): 130-131 and Switch (April 2007): 146-147.

(4) Among others, the following articles and interviews indicate the connection between Still Walking and "home drama." Kanazawa, 50; Michida Yoichi, 88; Hayashi Mariko, "Mariko no gesto corekushon: Kore-eda Hirokazu (Mariko's Guest Collection)," Shukan Asahi (July 11, 2008): 50-54; Sugishima Mirai, "Pick Up Cinema: Hirokazu Koreeda," Como (August 2008): 201.

(5) The film's DVD was released about seven months later, in January 2009.

(6) Although there are Japanese and English versions of the director's statement, the English translation is more elaborate and uses slightly different expressions, such as "a film brimming with life" instead of "akarui eiga (a cheerful film)" (Kore-eda
COPYRIGHT 2011 Allegheny College
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:connection between memory and identity in Kore-eda Hirokazu's movies
Author:Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo
Publication:Film Criticism
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 13, 2011
Previous Article:Laughter and tears: the social critiques of Kore-eda's Hana and Yamanaka Sadao's Humanity and Paper Balloons.
Next Article:Kore-eda's ocean view.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters