Tag Archives: food

Still walking

8 May

First of all, apologies for not being around here much these past few weeks. I’ve still been watching plenty of films but wanted to take a break from blogging while I was on holiday. A highlight of my trip to the UK was Still Walking by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, one of the brightest Japanese directors. All too often, I find myself dissatisfied with modern portrayals of family life since they’re either  too idyllic or over dramatic and dark yet Japanese films seem especially perceptive and sensitive in its treatment of the same subject. Still Walking is bascially about a family coming together to mark the anniversary of the death of its eldest son who drowned after saving the life of a teenager some years ago. The second son must make his way out to his parents’ house in the suburbs of Tokyo, dreading the reunion which reminds him of his failings as the new leader of the family who must assume his dead brother’s responsibilities. What’s more he has married a widowed single mother with a young son who are not really accepted by his older, conservative parents. The film shows the distances that can divide us from our relatives, our disappointed expectations of one another, the fact that we may have known each other for the longest period of time but that there can still be very little in common, the need of the new generation to move on.

If all this seems a little heavy, it certainly doesn’t come across that way, thanks largely to the wonderful acting by all but especially by the sister’s character whose cheerfulness and quirky humour lightens the tone. The film works on so many different levels with wonderful observations which make us smile yet are also moving. Finally I have to single out the fact that this film especially appeals to me because of its emphasis of preparing food and eating, the fascinating rituals associated with Japanese cuisine and communal meals. It will leave you dreaming of fried corn and roasted white radish.

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