Happî awâ / ハッピーアワ
2015, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan, 317 min. With Sachie Tanaka, Rira Kawamura.
- Fri, Feb 3rd 2:00pm
- Sat, Feb 4th 2:00pm
“Extraordinary both in its artistry and in its dimensions...its length is entirely justified, indeed richly and deeply filled. Hamaguchi is a genius of scene construction, turning the fierce poetry of painfully revealing and pugnaciously wounding dialogue into powerful drama.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“A fascinating, towering confection of contradictions: a modest epic, a work that simultaneously resembles both contemporary television drama and art cinema at its airiest, a film you feel like you’ve seen before but that somehow never ceases to surprise.” — Dan Sullivan, Film Comment
This intimate epic by the previously little-known Hamaguchi was the revelation of several 2016 film festivals (including Locarno and New Directors/New Films) and a high-ranker on several best-of-the-year lists (including The New Yorker and Slant). The narrative centers on four women in their mid-thirties in the hilly port city of Kobe. Best friends, they meet for periodic outings that provide relief from the strains of their domestic and professional lives. When one of the foursome announces that she is seeking a divorce, their equilibrium is upset (often quite literally) in ways that place awakening self-discovery at odds with the harmony of the group. The film’s length is essential to its effectiveness, enabling the characters to breathe, reveal themselves, and evolve in sometimes startling but wholly believable directions. In Japanese with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)
Note: There will be a 15-minute intermission.