After Yang Screams for the Big Screen & Voila! SFF Answers the Call

Second viewing of after Yang at the Sarasota Film Festival….ruminations:
I wanted to shout out to the man in charge of the music Aska Matsumyia. The delicate piano helps to accentuate the grief and loss.
And thank goodness I saw it on the big screen. There’s a moment I did not catch, so precious that I almost lost my breath. When Colin Farrel’s small daughter comes in while he’s watching his AI’s memories in the future streaming device (which is basically a pair of cool sun glasses), she asks if he’s watching a movie and what kind..when he says it’s a doc, she whispers, ‘is it boring you to tears?’ noticing that he is emotional. ADORABLE and so telling that small children can pick up on adult vibes.
And just a few whines about the theater: for the love of film festivals, why in the world were they serving food after the film started. They don’t normally do that for the most basic film, let alone an important one. That’s sacrilege to me. Ditto the lights not being fully extinguished. My only guess is that they were short staffed.

I need to decide between the two narrative features of which one I liked better…Montana Story or After Yang…a very close call. Both poignant in different ways.

Since after Yang will be screening at the Sarasota Film Fest at CineBistro, no less, notably holding the biggest screens in town, I decided to write this review. You see, I’m in love with Kogonada’s contemplative work, his previous film, Columbus, a quiet marvel.
And as an occasional introvert, I’m down with quiet, slow, yet percolating on a similar passionate rhythm. That’s what Kogonada has captured again in After Yang, starring Colin Farrel, Jodie Turner-Smith and the return of the Columbus cutie, Haley Lu Richardson*.
My first watch of After Yang was a tad disequilibrating, meaning the futuristic motif meant adjusting my gears in order to fully focus. In addition, I was watching on t.v. which is sacrilege to me. The second time, still frustrating due to the lack of being able to grasp the shadowed scenes, yet the emotion certainly hit me like a ton of bricks.
Similar in some ways to Ishiguro’s recent book success, Klara and the Sun, the movie looks at the idea of AI or more specifically, when humans become emotionally attached to robots. And boy do we humans know how to complicate everything.
Kogonada does Ishiguro ten times better in regards to memory analysis, grief, and family dynamics. Go see this one at the Sarasota Film Festival. I’ll be there, very grateful to see the film in it’s proper medium…the glorious big screen.
*I spied Haley Lu Richardson’s beautiful visage in a short called Montana Story playing @MySFF as well.

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

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