Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

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colinr0380
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Re: Hirokazu Kore-eda

#1 Post by colinr0380 » Sun May 20, 2018 6:08 am


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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#2 Post by lacritfan » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:26 pm


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Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#3 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Mambiki kazoku / Shoplifters (Kore'eda 2018)

Another wonderful film by Kore'eda. Despite many moments of warmth and humor, this ultimately winds up being one of his darkest films. In it, we return to the world of the economically marginalized -- rather like that of Nobody Knows.Here we have a (seemingly) intact (if impoverished) multi-generational family -- headed by a grandmother (the irreplaceable Kirin Kiki in her last role -- and she clearly was already quite ill). The film starts off with the "rescue" of an abused little girl -- and the incorporation of her into the family. Despite the title, shoplifting is not at the core of the film, it's just a supplement to the minimal wages made by the adult family members (who work when they can at low-paying jobs). The parents of the family are played (superbly) by Lily Franky and Sakura Ando (who, as the mother, may have provided the very best performance in the uniformly excellent cast). Some deluxe casting here -- younger stars Kengo Kora and Chizuru Ikewaki play police investigators and Akira Emoto appears briefly as a kindly but canny small shop owner.

Highly recommended.

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andyli
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Re: The Films of 2018

#4 Post by andyli » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:36 pm

Thunderbird is releasing Shoplifters next March on Blu/DVD. The Japanese are doing their domestic home video release shortly after but I assume they won't offer English subtitles.

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Re: The Films of 2018

#5 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:43 am

andyli wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:36 pm
Thunderbird is releasing Shoplifters next March on Blu/DVD.
Great news!

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Re: The Films of 2018

#6 Post by knives » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:54 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:53 pm
Mambiki kazoku / Shoplifters (Kore'eda 2018)

Another wonderful film by Kore'eda. Despite many moments of warmth and humor, this ultimately winds up being one of his darkest films. In it, we return to the world of the economically marginalized -- rather like that of Nobody Knows.Here we have a (seemingly) intact (if impoverished) multi-generational family -- headed by a grandmother (the irreplaceable Kirin Kiki in her last role -- and she clearly was already quite ill). The film starts off with the "rescue" of an abused little girl -- and the incorporation of her into the family. Despite the title, shoplifting is not at the core of the film, it's just a supplement to the minimal wages made by the adult family members (who work when they can at low-paying jobs). The parents of the family are played (superbly) by Lily Franky and Sakura Ando (who, as the mother, may have provided the very best performance in the uniformly excellent cast). Some deluxe casting here -- younger stars Kengo Kora and Chizuru Ikewaki play police investigators and Akira Emoto appears briefly as a kindly but canny small shop owner.

Highly recommended.
Do we not have a thread for this? Either way it shoots up to the top of my list for the year for reasons I can't describe. It does a very great job of building an emotional complexity that ultimately left me a little shocked and bittersweet. Leaving the theater I was ruminating with my sister on the ultimate fate of one character specifically if it was the worst of a bad lot of options or just a middling one in light of the cruelty of the world. A lot of Kore-eda's themes seem to come home in a film that is of Naruse given the way money becomes central to all acts.

I do have a small question since we couldn't get quite straight what the deal with the hostess family is.
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As far as I understood she was the granddaughter of the grandmother's ex-husband who she kidnapped at a young age and somehow extorted for money. Beyond that very vague understanding I can't gather all the pieces.

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Re: The Films of 2018

#7 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:07 am

Knives --

I couldn't find an existing thread -- or much prior discussion -- of this film, which somewhat surprised me.
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The grandmother's ex-husband's grand-daughter situation is never fully explained. Definitely not a kidnapping issue, however. Her parent's say to the grandmother that the young woman is "in Australia". Her mother certainly is mystified as to why her husband maintains a relationship with this non-relative. In any event, it would appear that the woman went to live with the "grand-mother" after she actually returned from Australia, instead of re-joining her biological family's household.

The police investigators tell the young woman that the grandmother was being paid every month by her parents -- but the film seems to suggest that she visited only once a year and was given conscience money only on those occasions. Were the police lying -- in order to turn her against her former faux-family members? It is possible. Other interactions with family members suggest that they were trying their hardest to turn the other young "victims" against the older faux-family members.

It is never explained just how this individual came to know the "grandmother". It is also not explained why she has, in effect, run away from her biological family. The most sordid explanation would be sexual abuse by the father -- which could explain why she is now working in a sex-related job. I also note, as an aside, that the younger sister seems remarkably spoiled and arrogant. Since the possible familial sex abuse angle also showed up in The Third Murder, it might be knocking about here as well. A related "mystery" -- just why does the young woman (right before the end of the film) sneak back into the now-abandoned house she had shared with her faux (but loving) family?
There are lots of unanswered questions here -- just as in The Third Murder -- and the way they are left unanswered added to the appeal of both films (for my wife and me). This may well be my favorite film of the year, though Lee's Burning and Hosoda's utterly delightful Mirai are also contenders.

I would agree that this is one of Kore'eda's most Naruse-esque films. As in Naruse, money is central -- but not necessarily the primary factor in character's choices and behavior -- it is, however, inextricable from emotions and actions.
Last edited by Michael Kerpan on Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Films of 2018

#8 Post by knives » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:20 am

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It was specifically the Australia thing that we talked about as it seemed such a strange detail. While incest didn't come to my mind the way she was with the grandmother did have me think that she was rescued from some sort of sexual abuse.
Thanks, the obscure nature of the ending definitely helped make the film great for me. It actually reminded me a bit of my comments from the Election thread. What helped make this work significantly better for me is how the exact broken nature of these people isn't easy to summarize and the nature of their history is largely unknowlable. Each character ends the movie with so many possible futures that it is like engaging with real people. My sister and I were trying to guess what the future held for everyone as if they were actual humans we could follow ten years from now. I can't remember the last time a film gave me that sense of character.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#9 Post by andyli » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:23 am

I'm glad a dedicated thread is created for this film. To add something to the above discussion, I find that Kore-eda actually novelized the script and furnished some contextual details in the novel.
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Michael, You are spot-on in observing that Aki alienates her biological parents and her younger sister (Sayaka) is spoiled and arrogant. But Aki's staying away from her family is probably not the result of domestic abuse. Rather, she alienates her family because her parents prefer their younger daughter to her and have possibly been giving her lots of grief over the years (a quite common phenomenon in East Asia). According to the novel, the sisters were both learning to play violin when they were small kids. The parents found out the younger sister is the more talented one and urged Aki to drop out of the violin classes to cut cost. I think we can say Aki holds a grudge against her sister and therefore calls herself Sayaka at her workplace as a minor revenge. This also explains why the grandmother says something that amounts to 'you are so mean' when Aki tells her about her workplace alias.

The way I see it, Aki did not go to Australia at all. It is a story the parents invented to cover up the run-away scandal. The family have practically abandoned their elder daughter. This background story actually makes Aki's character all the more intriguing. Unlike other members of the faux family, she has a choice to go back to the apparently nice home. Yet she chooses not to go home and instead works in a hostess club. Aki is therefore inflicting a wound on her own body and mind, not unlike the one customer she can connect with, who has (possibly self-inflicted) wounds on the back of his hand.

Also, I don't think Aki knows about the grandmother's monthly visit to her family to collect 'conscience money'. So when the police tell her about it Aki is visibly shocked (and possibly mistakes grandmother's motive for extortion). In reality, the grandmother has no reason to tell her about the money, as it is not for raising Aki (the family probably have no idea where Aki is). She gets the money because her ex-husband dumped her for a new wife/life. Aki's father is the new wife's son. That's way he says "sorry about my mother" when handing over the envelope, and grandmother replies "it's not your fault".

Anyway, I don't know if in the end Aki realizes that the grandmother saves all the money for her future. The police certainly do not wish her to think so. The final scene when Aki re-enters the now empty house is utterly devastating: she has lost all she felt was homey once again, but even so, she chooses to go back to a broken dream that she once truly believed.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#10 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:58 am

Andyli -Can you read Japanese -- or has Kore'eda's novelization been translated?
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It looks like Aki is dressed like an office lady in her final scene at the house. One wonders if the police helped get her a respectable job.

An interesting motif is that the adult characters don't really seem to recognize the fact that much of what they do is actually done (mostly) out of love and affection rather than for money.

At the end the little sister playing on the balcony, singing a song from her faux family, looks over the top of the balcony and seems to look happier. Our guess was that her big brother makes a habit of going by and waving hello to her (even if he is not allowed any other contact)

Does the novel shed any light on how Aki happened to be acquainted with the ex-wife of her grandfather? One assumes Aki did at least make a post-high school graduation trip to Australia.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#11 Post by andyli » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:51 am

I can understand some basic Japanese, but have to wait on an imminent Chinese translated version for a proper reading. I don't think there is an English version yet.

Your first three points I totally agree with. As for the question in the fourth paragraph,
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my understanding is that they first met at grandfather's funeral, and the grandmother probably invited Aki to stay with her at a later date.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#12 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:59 am

andyli -- Thanks -- that makes sense.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#13 Post by BenoitRouilly » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:54 pm

Thanks for this new thread. I couldn't find one earlier.

I regret the title is misleading, it reminds me of Johnnie To's Sparrow (2008) where a handful of professionnal pickpockets form a faux family and pick pockets. While one film is a heist movie, about theft, the other is only a family drama with little to do with shoplifting.

Why was there no official congratulation from Japan for Kore-eda's win of the Palme d'Or? Is there a hidden allegory in the film that would only upset Japan? Is the subject of the fraudulent family a taboo? Yet Shoplifters is selected to represent Japan at the Oscars (by Japan officials if I'm not mistaken)... So what gives?

I loved the aerial shot of the house at night where only the heads of this family pop out from under the roof one by one. And we discover that the house is surrounded by concrete appartment buildings (corroborated by the visit of the real estate agent). This metaphor of an isolated island (Japan is an island too), the traditional wooden house, trapped by high-rises, made me think of an hommage of Kore-eda's cinema to pre-war Japanese cinema (Ozu, Naruse...), about multi-generational families living under the same roof, about to burst (conflict of generations and culture shock of Modernity), as opposed to contemporean Japanese thrillers taking place in dead-cold high-tech buildings (a bit like the opposition between the rich father and the poor father in Like Father, Like Son).
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I'm wondering about the peepshow client : "4-ban san", is it revealed that he's mude in his last scene, because when Aki asks him questions he only utters noises and sobs. I guess it's protocol to write on a slate to communicate with the models behind the windows, but in the private room is there another explanation why he doesn't speak?

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#14 Post by DeprongMori » Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:20 pm


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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#15 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:17 pm

DeprongMori --

Thanks for the link!

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#16 Post by BenoitRouilly » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:27 pm

Thank you for the Daily Beast link. That answers my question.
And there is a very interesting press conference linked in the article of Kore-eda at FCCJ in Japan after Cannes (Japanese-English), where he addresses more interesting topics than at the Cannes press conference I believe.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#17 Post by Ahab » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:20 am

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:54 pm

I regret the title is misleading, it reminds me of Johnnie To's Sparrow (2008) where a handful of professionnal pickpockets form a faux family and pick pockets. While one film is a heist movie, about theft, the other is only a family drama with little to do with shoplifting.
I thought the title was misleading also, but after reflection I think:
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It is a metaphor for how the family was formed.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#18 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:36 am

Ahab -- Sort of. ;-)

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#19 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:50 pm

Ahab wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:20 am
I thought the title was misleading also, but after reflection I think
Intersting angle. And the japanese title "Manbiki Kazoku" translating as "shoplifting family", which is more appropriate for your idea.
The French title "Une affaire de famille" (=Family affair) is the most suitable, without hinting at the thief job.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#20 Post by Fiery Angel » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:02 pm

Magnolia is releasing this (on DVD only) in the U.S. on February 12.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#21 Post by knives » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:17 pm

Only Magnolia would do that to a potential Oscar winner.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#22 Post by ebidewy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:38 pm

They did the the same thing to The Square a year or so ago.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#23 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:39 pm

What dolts....

Guess I'll go with a different release.

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#24 Post by Persona » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:55 pm

Eesh

A Netflix release would have been better!

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Re: Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

#25 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:56 pm

Or maybe they've given Blu Ray rights to Criterion (no evidence whatsoever, sheer wishful speculation). ;-)

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