Journey to Asia with Athlone Film Club, on Tuesday October 12 at 8pm in the Dean Crowe Theatre, as they present the Japanese gem, Still Walking (2008 ).
Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda this family drama will cast a delicate entrancing spell on audiences.
It is a beautifully measured melodrama that gets the family dynamic exactly right, a film that understands the ways in which unspoken resentments tend to accumulate and unresolved conflicts later harden into regrets.
Unfolding over the course of a single day, the picture brings together three generations of a middle-class Japanese family under the grandparents’ roof to pay tribute to their long deceased eldest son on the anniversary of his death.
As in any domestic drama, everyone’s got their issues and in the hothouse environment of the patriarchal household in which nearly the entire movie takes place, most of them come to light.
The grandfather, a doctor forced to give up his practice when his eyesight started to fail, locks himself in his study, refusing to speak with his surviving son and emerging only at mealtimes. That son, an out of-work art restorer, shows up with his new wife, a widow, and her young child, a domestic arrangement that, along with his perceived inability to live up to the example of his dead brother, puts him at some odds with his parents, even as he points out that his family situation is hardly anomalous in contemporary Japan. Meanwhile, his sister is planning on moving her own family into the house, an arrangement with which her mother is having some difficulty coming to terms.
Still Walking strikes an extraordinary balance between the moment-to-moment pleasure of life and the inevitable regret that accompanies time's passing.