El tercer asesinato: un nuevo género para Koreeda

cristal

Esta semana presentamos la última película de Koreeda, 三度目の殺人, Sandome no Satsujin, El tercer asesinato, aunque la traducción literal sería algo así como Asesino por tercera vez. Víctor y yo charlamos sobre el giro de Koreeda hacia un género poco frecuentado por él, el thriller, aunque con sus notas características de análisis y crítica social.

Podéis ver el vídeo del programa o escuchar el podcast:

 

And here is an article in English about the movie.

The Third Murder, 三度目の殺人

 

320

 

30 years passed for Misumi San since his first double homicide, which cost him a long period of his life in jail. Now destiny wants that the lawyer who is to defend his present case –also a homicide– happens to be the son of the judge who handed down the former sentence. With this film, director Koreeda enters a new genre, thriller, suspense with murder, court-related movies, that is alien to his work, usually free of violence but always full of moral dilemmas. However, some of his identity signs can still be seen in the ambiguous treatment of the main character: a very grave and psychologically unbalanced suspect –very well in his role Kôji Yakusho, whose performance as an unfaithful husband in Lost Paradise (失楽園, Shitsurakuen), from 1997, left in me a bitter unforgettable feeling back in the day–.

Family issues are not forgotten either in this story, with a more than likely incestuous relationship that might have prompted the murder, and a contradictory and obscure attitude in the victim’s wife. Everything is under doubt for the viewer, who along with the lawyer’s character played by Masaharu Fukuyama –I liked him much more in Scoop (2016) and in the also Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる, Soshite Chichi ni Naru, 2013)–, follows the court’s dynamics until its logical conclusion.

The two men start from a cold and professional relationship, although determined by the family coincidence of the laywer’s father. More and more encounters and visits to jail happen, and Koreeda’s camera registers the approaching of both souls with reflections on the thick glass that divides the men, with the lawyer’s desperation and obsession for entering the accused man’s head in order to understand his motives and to save him from a likely death sentence. At the same time, Misumi’s interest in misleading Shigemori’s investigation will constitute a final twist in the story. And the third assassination is still to be committed in the fashion of sacrifice, which the Japanese judicial system cannot assume.

If in After the Storm (海よりまだ深く、Umi yori mada fukaku, 2016) Koreeda played with broken and abandoned umbrellas at the end of the film as a metaphor of the irreversible wreck of the character’s life, this time we see Misumi leaving the court towards the gallows letting imaginary birds freely fly from his hands, under the constant gaze of Suzu Hirose (Sakie), the young and talented actress omnipresent in Japanese cinema nowadays.

“Umi yorimo mada fukaku”: manual para padres imperfectos

umiyori_red

El director Koreeda Hirokazu se ha convertido en el trovador de la cambiante sociedad japonesa. Con 梅よりもまだ深く (Umi yorimo mada fukaku, Más profundo que el mar), su enésima película dedicada a las relaciones familiares problemáticas,  vuelve a demostrarlo. Esta semana mostramos las claves del filme y de su director en el podcast:

Koreeda, the Truman Capote of Japanese cinema

Image

Today one of the most renowned Japanese filmmakers abroad, Hirokazu Koreeda, already in the early 90’s, experimented his later narrative language in documentaries like 彼のいない八月が (An August without him) or 日本人になりたかった  (I wanted to be Japanese). The first one, from 1994, is a very personal document about the last months in the life of a Japanese man infected with AIDS and terminal ill. When openly declaring his illness and confessing that he had contracted it through homosexual sex, Yutaka Hirata broke with 2 taboos firmly established in Japan at the time (and probably still going on): first, the fact that there are Japanese homosexual men, something denied by a part of Japanese society in spite of evidence in the tradition of the country (see Gohatto) but supported by the discrimination suffered by gay people in a normative and homogeneous society, which keeps them very deep in the closet; the other one was AIDS, never thought by many to be able to reach Japan’s insular condition. Koreeda, even in his director’s role, erases the distance between himself and his study object, getting closer and more and more involved with Hirata as a person.

The other documentary, filmed in 1992, not so sad but with a more clear political line, deals with the rights of Japanese-Koreans -born in Japan but without Japanese passport or nationality- and the social rejection that they face if they don’t integrate completely, abandoning their Korean identity. The film’s main thread is the story of a Korean man, who in the times of the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula, is sent to Japan to fight along with the Japanese in the Philippines, but after the war and fearing discrimination, creates a Japanese identity for himself and manages to get married and have children without his family ever knowing about his origins for 50 years until he is arrested in 1985 for forging official documents and in suspicion of being a spy from North Korea. Koreeda, making a filmic narrative out of a journalist and legal case, in the line of Truman Capote’s Cold Blood, analyzes Park’s (that was his Korean name) case, interviewing his lawyer and even visiting his hometown in Korea. He also shows the controversial Korean schools in Japan, blaming the police and the media for the animosity that the Korean-Japanese issue generates in the Japanese public opinion.

Aruitemo, Aruitemo: Walking away from the past

Image

 

To keep on walking is a good technique to metaphorically put some distance with the past, especially when memories are hurtful, and director Koreeda, now in Madrid, seems to send this message in his 2008’s film 歩いても、歩いてもAruitemo Aruitemo (Still walking), a fresh up-to-date depiction of a traditional Japanese family in the XXI century, like an Ozu’s film from the 50’s, but 60 years later. The fragile balance of apparently harmonious relationships only needs a word or even a silence to create a disruptive atmosphere full of recriminations. Father and son are afraid of words because these would force both of them to express their respective frustrations and fears; in the end, they cannot but blame themselves for the past. It’s women the ones who, behind their burikko behavior (actress and comedian YOU formidable as usual, same as the other two female protagonists) and helped by ritual house chores, soften men’s incapability to relate to each other and communicate. And the act of walking together restores for a moment the dreamed harmony. No wonder some of the most beautiful scenes in Japanese literature and cinema, at least my favorite ones, are represented in strolls, like in 細雪 Sasameyuki (The Makioka sisters) or in Manji (Quicksand).

Blog de WordPress.com.

estudiosdeliteratura

Just another WordPress.com site

El blog de De la Vega

Cine, teatro y literatura

Habaneceres

Literatura, opinión y otros habaneceres, porque habanecer es una perspectiva, un estado de ánimo, un vicio de la memoria