Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Happy Hour
Japan • 5h 17m
Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi • Drama • With Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara • 2017 • 317 minutes
A powerful affirmation of the immersive potential of cinema. HAPPY HOUR is a slow-burning epic chronicling the emotional journey of four thirtysomething women in the misty seaside city of Kobe. As they navigate the unsteady currents of their work, domestic, and romantic lives a sudden, unexpected rift opens between that propels each to a new, richer understanding of life and love. Filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s wise, precisely observed, compulsively watchable drama of friendship and midlife awakening runs over five hours, yet the leisurely duration is not an indulgence but a strategy to create a novelistic space for everyday moments to become charged with possibility that yields a subtle emotional intensity rarely possible in a standard-length film. HAPPY HOUR is far more than just an ordinary melodrama. It is a spectacularly complex and fiercely poetic rendering of the details of daily life in which ideas and feelings are swayed by the unseen forces of friendship and love and buffeted by the weight of deception, loyalty and tradition.
Winner of awards at major international festivals—including Locarno, where stars Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara and Rira Kawamura shared the Golden Leopard for Best Actress—HAPPY HOUR has brought new attention to the work and career of one of Japan’s most talented young directors.
"I suspect we’ll be talking about this one for some time to come." —Dan Sullivan, Film Comment
"Happy Hour commands respect through the audacity of its conception and scale, and it earns affection through its humane attentiveness." —Reverse Shot
Up Next in Japan
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa • Drama • With Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yûko Takeuchi, Toru Baba • 2017 • 130 minutes
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who made his name with classics CURE and BRIGHT FUTURE, gets back to his roots by putting the thumbscrews to the audience with his latest, CREEPY. A year after a botch...
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa • Drama • With Joe Odagiri, Tatsuya Fuji, Tadanobu Asano • 2003 • 115 minutes
"Casts its spell by drawing out the horror of everyday existence bit by bit, and then tossing in some otherworldly weirdness that makes the hair on the back of your neck try to run for cove...
The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachir...
Directed by Kihachiro Kawamoto • Documentary • 2014 • 99 minutes
Kimstim is proud to present this collection of short films from one of the world's greatest stop-motion animators: Kihachiro Kawamoto. Famous for his beautiful, expressive puppets, Kawamoto began his career in the 1950s. Honing his...