2SSFA - 'Wake' by Atsuko Hirayanagi

Wake delves into the afterlife, a provoking story of desolate loneliness and misery. How would you feel if you were bereft of any loved ones by your side when you breathe your last breath? That, the takeaway from a tale that revolves around a 15-year-old corpse and an unfulfilled wish.

The protagonist, Mike, is a demolition site inspector that paradoxically hoards onto his past despite destroying for the future. His ineptitude to let go of his past and his unwillingness to move on with the future, and the subsequent regret, denial and self-pity that inevitably takes over form the core of the short film. The mature offering (pun unintended) more than deserves its slew of nominations, and its Best Art Direction win.

The morose tale was part of Atsuko’s repertoire at the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Asia—and inspired from a 2004 Japanese news article about a 20-year-old skeleton found in an abandoned apartment on the verge of demolition. Why had nobody bothered to look him up?

Or perhaps life is really as heartless as it goes, ebbing and flowing. And the past, easily forgotten no matter how hard one struggles to hold on.

This film was nominated at the 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards for Best Director, Best Fiction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Performance and won for Best Art Direction.
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