by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Japan 2008, 115'
A couple, Kaho and Tomoya, announce that they are getting married at a party where their friends have gathered, but it is accidentally revealed that the groom, Tomoya, has had an affair in the past. The two spend time apart that night. The enormous amount of conversation between men and women who are approaching the end of their twenties, a mixture of honesty and pretense, unveils the depths of human relationships that have reached a turning point in their lives.
Cast & Crew
Aoba Kawai, Ryuta Okamoto, Fusako Urabe, Nao Okabe, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Production company: Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts
Producer: Satoshi Fujii
After graduating from the University of Tokyo, Hamaguchi worked in the commercial film industry for a few years before entering the graduate program in film at Tokyo University of the Arts.
He made a festival debut in 2008 with his graduation film Passion at San Sebastian and Tokyo FILMeX. He has been constantly working on films since then. These include the Japan/Korea co-production film THE DEPTHS (2010) and a series of documentary Tohoku Trilogy co-directed by Ko Sakai (Sound of the Waves, Voices from the Waves and Storytellers) from 2011 to 2013. The former two of trilogy are composed by interviews of the victims of the devastating Great Japan Earthquake, and Storytellers is a documentary about research activity in Japanese regional folktales.
In 2015, his 317-minute feature film Happy Hour won major awards at numerous film festivals starting at Locarno FF. His first commercial film Asako I & II was selected for competition at the Cannes FF in 2018. He is also the screenwriter on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Wife of a Spy, which won the Silver Lion at the 2020 Venice FF.
In 2021, he released two films, WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY, which premiered in Berlinale Competition and won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, and DRIVE MY CAR. For the latter he has received Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival as well as two Academy Awards nominations, for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, making him the third Japanese director to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director