Film - Feature | April 17 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A family of shoplifters and cast-offs float along the margins of Japan in Kore-eda’s 2018 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, a tribute to those who create their own bonds to unite and survive in the face of poverty and indifference. Kore-eda here extends his consistently humane, heartfelt appraisal of what it means to be a family to include people who lead their loved ones to shoplift, sell themselves, and cheat the system, but, as the film makes abundantly clear, their crimes are trivial compared to the corruption that keeps them in place. Legendary actress Kirin Kiki gives one of her last performances in this, one of Kore-eda’s rawest, most socially aware works. “The core emotion when I was making this film might have been ‘anger,’” writes Kore-eda. In other films, “I have dug desperately into the motif of personal things, but [with Shoplifters] I put an end to this approach of not broadening my vision to society. It could be said that I have gone back to where I started.”
“The complacency and corruption of pre-coup Argentina is laid bare in chilling, absurd style in Benjamín Naishtat’s superb third feature.”—Jessica Kiang, Variety
“Hitting emotional grace notes that belie his relatively tender years, thirty-three-year-old South Korean auteur/director Jang Woo-jin offers a bittersweet rumination on love, marriage, and midlife disillusionment in this quietly enchanting third feature. . . . The film’s visual grammar is poised and precise, but understated enough to serve the story above all else. Jang and cinematographer Yang Jeonghoon favor still, empty, symmetrical composition, marking scene divisions with painted historical tableaux. The nocturnal setting, with its frozen waterfalls and neon-lit snowscapes, lends an alluringly alien beauty to this Midwinter Night’s Dream.”—Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

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