Online Q&A with Director Hamaguchi Ryusuke
Zoom Discussion and Q&A

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan and Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C., Inc.

Check out our upcoming J-Film virtual screening of Happy Hour and our previous screening of Hamaguchi's other film Asako I & II!

Join the JICC and guest interpreter/co-moderator Amber Noé for a special online Q&A with Director Hamaguchi Ryusuke (Happy Hour, Asako I & II, Drive My Car, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy). You will have the chance to learn more about the director, his latest projects, and ask him questions directly!

After his powerful 2015 opus Happy Hour received high acclaim on the international festival circuit, Director Hamaguchi Ryusuke has been considered one of the most promising Japanese filmmakers of this generation. Hamaguchi's dedicated approach to capturing heart-rending realism through workshops and character improvisation has earned him comparisons to other household names such as Yasujirō Ozu and Kore-eda Hirokazu.

He was most recently awarded the runner-up grand jury prize at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival in March 2021, marking the first time in seven years that a Japanese film has won a prize at the festival. Hamaguchi himself will be joining us for a special online Q&A exactly a week before flying to attend the awards ceremony!



After graduating from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor of Art in Aesthetics in March 2003, Hamaguchi Ryusuke had been working as an assistant director for film and TV industry for three years. Hamaguchi studied at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts and got the degree of Master of Film in March 2008. He has been constantly working on films since then.

In 2011 to 2013, Hamaguchi lead the production of a documentary trilogy about the Tohoku region with Sakai Ko and the over four hours-long feature film Intimacy (2013). He also directed and wrote the screenplay of Happy Hour (2015), which went on to win major awards at numerous international film festivals including the Locarno International Film Festival and Three Continents Festival in Nantes, France.

In 2018, Hamaguchi made his commercial film debut with Asako I & II which was selected to compete at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. He also co-wrote the script of Kurosawa Kiyoshi's Wife of a Spy alongside Nohara Tadashi; the film ended up winning the Silver Lion Award (Director's Award) at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival.

Hamaguchi Ryusuke's new film Wheel of Fortune & Fantasy, a collection of three short stories on chance and coincidence, won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival Competition. Hamaguchi's latest film, Drive My Car, is an adaptation of a short story from an anthology written by Haruki Murakami. It is set to be released this summer.

  • Passion (2008)
  • The Depths (2010)
  • The Sound of Waves (なみのおと) (2011)
  • Intimacies (親密さ) (2013)
  • Touching the Skin of Eeriness (不気味なものの肌に触れる) (2013)
  • Voices from the Waves (なみのこえ) (2013)
  • Storytellers (うたうひと) (2013)
  • Happy Hour (ハッピーアワー)
  • Asako I & II (寝ても覚めても)
  • Drive My Car (ドライブ・マイ・カー) (2021
  • Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (偶然と想像) (2021)



    Amber Noé is a polyglot and multicultural creative working in film & TV. Formerly, as Film Associate at Japan Society in New York City, she was responsible for assisting every aspect of its programming and operations. Noé is a professional JA-EN interpreter/translator, with focused experience in filmmaker appearances and documentary productions. She earned an Art History BA from Columbia University (2018). Publications include: a review of Japanese Expanded Cinema Intermedia: Critical Texts of the 1960s (2021) in Millennium Film Journal as well as works in BOMB Magazine, Metrograph Journal and MUBI Notebook.

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