kogonada on Koreeda

While in San Francisco for CAAMFest a couple of weeks ago, I had the great pleasure to see some videos by the film critic and video essayist kogonada. Along with his film explorations – here’s a good interview with him where you can also see his short “supercut” films on Stanley Kubrick, Darren Aronofsky, and more – kogonada runs a tumblr, missingozu, in which his enthusiasm for the great Japanese director is on display. Appropriately, kogonada’s films were presented at CAAMFest as a prologue to the showing of Late Summer, the Ernie Park film I praised so heavily in last week’s Sunday Salon, which owes a lot to Ozu’s style. (kogonada’s name, you may recognize, is in itself a tribute to Ozu, or rather Ozu’s longtime writing collaborator Kogo Noda.)

One of the kogonada films I got to see at CAAMFest was his really excellent exploration of the films of Hirokazu Koreeda, among my favorite directors working today. He gets right to the heart of what makes Koreeda’s films so memorable and moving. As kogonada says in his introduction to the video, “The cinema of Koreeda Hirokazu is defined by moments of everyday life. Whatever potential there is for heightened drama – the suicide of a husband, a cult massacre, abandoned children – it is diffused by the familiar rhythms of everydayness.” On the comparison to Yasujiro Ozu, he says, “I think the reason we compare Koreeda to Ozu is because his cinema tastes like Ozu’s. When we leave his films we experience a similar aftertaste, which is to say, a deeper sense of life.”

The World According to Koreeda Hirokazu from kogonada on Vimeo.

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