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Moody Movie ~Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Ghost from the Past~

passion Paradox.On the one hand, for American audiences, it’s new Movies directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi,continue please drive my carbecame an international success two years ago, so we got to know more of the Japanese director’s work. But on the other hand passion is actually an old movie. First released in Japan in 2008, it is now theatrically released in the US market 15 years later. Plus, from the visual textures reminiscent of the early days of digital cinematography, to the diegetic details (old flip phones, small TV sets, etc.), it’s easy to see just how old this movie is.

fact passion is Japanese movies of the 2000s It might be a tougher sell for the average American theater goer today, especially in an industry where legacy sequels, reboots, remakes and superhero fanfare seem like the biggest draws, but this is it. is what makes Hamaguchi’s films so interesting. , or you can keep them as historical documents symbolizing rhetoric. at some point.

On top of this passion Effectively historicizing that director’s curiosity as a young filmmaker—it was his sophomore feature, varietyafter all, the graduation film — essentially providing a breadcrumb time-travel trail of themes and ideas that keep popping up in his later films like happy hour, Asako I・IIand of course, please drive my carAs a result, for Hamaguchi fans, passion It will be a fascinating retrospective experience. For others who might walk into the cinema knowing nothing else, it will still be a moody, layered relationship drama, heightened by the cast’s performances.

Apparent chemistry from the cast

Hamaguchi acted as scriptwriter and director, passion follow a group of friends in their twenties Navigating the universal hardships of new adulthood and the greater existential dreads that come from understanding that you have to figure it all out on your own (or at least, you should).

One night, when Kaho (Aoba Kawai) and Tomoya (Ryuta Okamoto) announce their engagement, they get mixed reactions from their friends Takeshi (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) and Kenichiro (Nao Okabe). Throughout the rest of the night and the days that follow, secrets will be revealed, harsh truths will be confronted, and cracks in the foundation of what on the outside seemed to be a tight-knit group will be revealed.

Over the course of two hours, Hamaguchi’s lens explores the inner feelings of his characters and, more importantly, he enjoys the disconnect between what they feel inside and what they present on the outside. increase. They, especially Tomoya (whose infidelity to Kaho is the first domino to fall), make choices and declarations that not only inspire our anger but also evoke compassion. performers, and the chemistry between them is so obvious that I think Hamaguchi is simply following them with a camera.

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Okabe and Shibukawa put on understated performances, but neither gets lost in the shuffle.Each actor focuses on the woes of their respective characters from unrequited love, bravely leaning against the dark shades of desire. Urabe Fusako’s Takako is attractive, and Takako is positioned as the object of Tomoya’s affection, so she is the object of our gaze, but Urabe can easily dominate the scene and become a mere prop. is resisting

Of course, Kawai and Okamoto are the ones who bite the most. Without spoiling anything, in one scene Kaho, a school teacher, is in a classroom talking about the pain and death after one of her students committed suicide. Despair, despair must be suppressed, so it’s a tightrope walk for Kawai, and Kawai is nothing short of perfect.

A mirror that reflects youth itself

Tokyo University of the Arts

From a North American perspective, even though these friends are on the other side of the Pacific, speak different languages, and belong to completely different cultures, it’s almost as if Hamaguchi is holding up a mirror. It is amazing to be able to recognize Youth itself presents us with an all-too-familiar crisis of the heart that most of us have certainly experienced in life and love.

Related: Best Ryusuke Hamaguchi movies, ranked

In hindsight, it makes sense why the film has a documentarian feel.Around standardHamaguchi will spend the next year passion Engaged in documentary filmmaking. And it’s clear that in his later works of fiction, even the most emotional scenes tend to favor an observational approach.

Hamaguchi’s approach to film ultimately please drive my car Heading into its 2022 Oscar win, and now for Western audiences who have seen the film, it has ignited a desire for more. passion Finally released in the continental United States, viewers are transported back in time into the director’s world and traced to his origins as one of the 21st century’s most idiosyncratic filmmakers.

passion will premiere at the Film at Lincoln Center in New York on April 14th and will premiere at Laemmle Glendale in Los Angeles on April 17th. Film Movement will announce additional markets at a later date. Moody Movie ~Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Ghost from the Past~

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