The Magic Lantern

Hosted ByEricca Long and Cole Roulain

Exploring the films we love and the things we love about them.

The Magic Lantern: Episode 101 – Shoplifters

Shoplifters (Kore-eda, 2018) was a revelatory filmgoing experience. So much so that as we were walking out of the theatre, I proclaimed that I would cover it in an episode as quickly as possible. I can’t think of another film in recent memory that I knew immediately was my new favorite as I was watching it. It has been recognized and acclaimed by many critical bodies around the world, and went on to become very financially successful in Japan. I think you’ll get a sense of why we are so attracted to this work of such great intelligence, depth of emotion, and sensitivity.

This film was also my introduction to the work of writer and director Hirokazu Kore-eda, as well as to the stellar cast. And though I found the second viewing to be just as emotionally difficult as the first, it’s a film that encourages multiple viewings. Each moment builds upon the last, and the way information is gathered or given to each character, and understood by them at any moment is key. There is also something new to be gleaned from subsequent viewings. I discovered so much visually that hadn’t occurred to me the first and second times just by advancing frames in certain scenes, and of course, by insights from Cole during our discussion.

What you’ll find in this episode: how the cinematographer contributed to the visual metaphor of compartmentalization, true stories that inspired this film story, and how Kore-eda works with child actors.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Shoplifters on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Birds of Passage.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Bicycle Thieves.
One of the pension fraud stories that inspired the film.
More the 230000 Japanese centenarians are ‘missing’.

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