Kore-eda Hirokazu

Michael McCaskey mccaskem at georgetown.edu
Sat Jun 3 12:16:00 EDT 2006

Dear Ms. Collaoni,

1) First, I've sent a copy of information on how to get the Hana yori mo nao "preview" DVD, below, labeled PREVIOUSLY SENT, just in case you don't already have that. This preview DVD is 77 min. long, and has a lot of information about the film, some scenes from it, and examples of how it was made. There are also profiles and brief interviews with some of the actors, and some scenes with Kore-eda directing or explaining. In my opinion, it is as good, or even a better introduction to the film than a book or magazine article might be. But there are no subtitles of any kind.

Most of Kore-eda's film DVD's have English subtitles in them to start with--as with "Distance," which as far as I know has not been released in the USA or W. Europe, but has English subtitles.

So there's a good chance that the regular Hana yori mo nao film will have English subtitles when released as a DVD. You can pre-order it, as I have, at Amazon.co.jp--but that Amazon site, just like the German and French ones, does not function in English, really, so you need to be able to navigate it in Japanese, or to ask a Japanese friend where you are to help you.

2) You can go to Kore-eda's web site, and get a lot of information, but some of it may be in Japanese only. I think you may also be able to send a message to Kore-eda there--if so, and you mention your uni and your project, you might get an answer from him or someone on his staff.


the Hana yori mo nao URL is


3) There are several books by Kore'eda himself about his work in Japanese, including a novel version of Wonderful Life that he wrote himself after he made the film. There are also some magazine articles, etc., about Kore-eda in Japanese, and in some cases you can get back copies from Amazon Japan. Many books about film seem to go out of print quickly, and some Kore-eda material is only available second-hand. For that you can try going to a Kinokuniya web site. If there is an Italian Kinokuniya store and/or web site, or another good Japanese bookstore in Italy, they can help you with a lot of things.


4) Torino has a very fine film institute, and I imagine you may already be connected with it, but if by chance you are not, it might be a very good resource for you.


5) A number of leading authorities on Japanese film belong to this list, some of whom will know Kore-eda personally, so I'm sure others will have some better recommendations for you.

You can get a Hana yori mo nao nyu mon, "preview" DVD, 花よりもなほ―岡田准一改メ青木宗左衛門、put out by Shochiku (SHV). The bar code number is 4988105049116. 

It lasts 77 min., and gives some of the plot away, but still leaves lots of plot for the regular full DVD, which may come out this fall. This preview DVD is very good, very well done, and the sound track is pleasing, but there are no subtitles.

It seems to me that earlier publicity about the film indicated that it would be based on a story or stories by Fujisawa Shuhei, but this DVD seems to make it clear that the script is an original effort by Kore-eda alone, not based on any other particular source.

It's about a bunch of people living in a nagaya, a sort of small Edo tenement block, and all their different interlocking stories and situations. Kore-eda has gotten very well-known actors, including Terajima Susumu and Asano Tadanobu to play most of the roles, even minor ones. Kore-eda shows how some of the scenes were directed/shot as well.

This preview DVD is really enjoyable, and well worth watching more than once, unlike some other film preview DVDs I've gotten in the past. I got my copy from Amazon Japan.

The Kore-eda site is


The Shochiku site is


There's also apparently a Shochiku DVD "shop," the Shochiku DVD Customer Center, at 0120-210-246, a phone answered only from 10 am-1 pm, and then 2-5 pm, Tokyo time, on weekdays only.

Best Wishes,

Michael McCaskey

----- Original Message -----
From: CECILIA COLLAONI <cecilia.collaoni3 at tin.it>
Date: Saturday, June 3, 2006 5:56 am
Subject: Re: Kore-eda Hirokazu

> Dear Mr Gerow, Claudia, and Kinejapan menbers,
> I'm an italian student at the University of Udine. I'm attending a 
> master on 
> writing for cinema, critics and Screenplay.
> For the master I'm starting to write a sort of long essay about 
> Koreeda main 
> films and I'm looking for materials too and in particular I'm 
> trying to 
> contact the director himself.
> Today in Japan is released HANA, the last film.
> I wrote a mail to Shochiku, asking for information, but they 
> didn't write 
> back. Have you any other suggestions about books or other materials?
> Greetings and thanks in advance.
> Cecilia
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <cla.kaidan at virgilio.it>
> To: <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:31 PM
> Subject: Kore-eda Hirokazu
> > I'm writing a thesis about Kore-eda Hirokazu.
> > I'd be grateful if
> > someone could help me in finding his first video works ("However",
> > "Lessons from a calf", "Without memory"...) or any information about
> > his documentary work.
> > I'm also looking for infos about his new film
> > "Hana yori mo naho".
> > Thanks in advance
> > Claudia
> >
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