DJ Phatrick

After Life (Dir. by Kore-eda Hirokazu, 1998)
December 13, 2008, 10:59 am
Filed under: Movies

So, I turned 27 this past Tuesday.

To celebrate, I rented After Life to watch with my roommates, which I thought would be the perfect movie to celebrate the waning “young” years of my life. (Don’t trip though, I don’t stress about aging…I still keep myself young through immaturity and annual master-cleansing) Plus, I thought that my roommates would love the movie, both aesthetically and conceptually. They both fell asleep midway.

After Life is director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s take on what happens after you die. Before you move on to the afterlife, you must choose only one memory from your life which you will take with you and be with forever. This you will do with the help of these “memory-creating” stations and their staff which is where you’ll be placed after dying. After choosing your memory, the staff then recreates and films the memory, which you will watch in a final screening. After experiencing the recreated memory, you’ll then move onto the afterlife.

The film begins by profiling several characters of varying ages and their process in choosing their memories. One man has trouble finding a single memory so the staff gives him a box of videotapes which document his life. When given the videotapes, the staff says something to the effect of “use these tapes only as reference, they will differ slightly from your memories.” I thought that was dope.

Another young man who refuses to choose a memory asks a frustrated staff person, “can we choose a dream we’ve had?” He explains that instead of living forever with a past memory, why not take with you a dream of the future? I thought that was dope also.

What memory would you choose if you were to leave the living world right now? Is it fair to only have one memory? Me, I would have trouble deciding and would need to see the videos of my life. Or maybe, I would hold out just so I can see the tapes. Maybe I’ll refuse to decide and stay in limbo with all my memories accessible by VCR.

Watch this movie.


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

trip…kind of a cool Idea…I can think of a few memories i wouldn’t mind spending eternity with.

Comment by Tafarai

i saw this movie in film class. it was probably one of the few films i stayed awake in. it prompted a long discussion amongst friends where we answered the question “if you could only keep one memory in heaven what would it be”

Comment by uccloud9

one memory i would have on my top list to choose is when we found out we’re cousins!! I’ll tell Drizzle to get this movie, and we’ll blaze many trees watching it šŸ˜‰

Comment by paloma

is there like a time limit on how long a memory can be? what if i just want to remember all of 2005?

Comment by djbrigidopeisdahtruf

this was my one memory:

Comment by uccloud9

i saw this movie on the plane on the way back from Vietnam. You should also check out The Teeth of Love. (i saw that on the plane too) Its an awkward, depressing, story of a young Chinese girl going through tragic romances that doesnt really have an ending. It was completely not what i expected. I finished the movie feeling a little empty and somewhat eerily depressed.

Comment by nam

oh man, this is one of my alltime favorite films. so poignant. kore-eda is a master director.

Comment by jenn

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