Departures (Okuribito)

Here's the place to talk about DVDs (or VHS) films and movies you have seen on television and recommend or don't recommend. Discuss actors and scores, too.

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Departures (Okuribito)

Post by Beckmesser » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:46 pm

Last night I watched the DVD of this Japanese film which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009.

Plot Summary:
Daigo Kobayashi is a cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and he now finds himself without a job. Selling the expensive cello he has recently purchased, he decides to leave Tokyo and return with his young wife to his hometown to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares the deceased for cremation and entry into the next life. Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. He doesn't tell his wife the nature of his employment and when she learns the truth she insists that he abandon his new career. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.

The acting is excellent. The film score is mawkish but effective. I recommend it.

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Re: Departures (Okuribito)

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:58 pm

I just watched this movie and enjoyed it very much, but the reason I'm reviving the thread is to point out for those who might be interested that the "mawkish" theme song (not really, IMO), quotes (at least) the Chopin barcarolle, Londonderry Air, and Hey Jude.

Now you've all really got to see it, right? :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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