Skip to main content
That selection of music makes the film

Aftersun: memories and the present crossing over with the tunes



“Aftersun,” a coming-of-age drama film about a summer holiday of a father and daughter in the late 1990s. Although the film evokes vivid nostalgia, it’s not just about that: it has a highly sharp texture.

Music director/critic Yuji Shibasaki points out the sound design and the well-controlled sound manipulation as the reason. Then, he discusses “Aftersun” for the second round of his article series to examine pop music in film, “The Music Selection Creates the Film.”

Note: the following content contains spoilers.

The director’s autobiographical “film of memory”

The end of the 1990s. When I (Sophie, played by Frankie Corio, a new child actor) was 11 years old, I spent a vacation with my father (Calum, played by Paul Mescall), who usually lives apart from us. The sights, smells, temperature, wind, and feel of the water in that summer…

Aftersun,” the autobiographical feature debut of new director Charlotte Wells, born in Scotland in 1987, evokes memories of a special season that we all hold deep in our hearts and minds, and brings us back to that time of the year. and let us encounter the air of that season once again.

The film begins with the sound of a miniDV camera (which will inevitably evoke a strong sense of nostalgia in viewers in their 30s or older). After a while, what appears on the screen is the usual family banter that one would expect to see on a home video.

Then, in a cut that replaces the stop motion of the home video, we see Sophie standing there 20 years later, having grown from 11 to 31 years old. On the floor of a club, in the flickering light of an intense flash. The film vividly tells us that this is a “film of memory,” as recalled by a former girl who is now 31 years old, the same age as her father was then.

Back to series



NiEW recommends alternative music🆕

NiEW Best Music is a playlist featuring artists leading the music scene and offering alternative styles in our rapidly evolving society. Hailing from Tokyo, the NiEW editorial team proudly curates outstanding music that transcends size, genre, and nationality.