new film Asako I & II is premiering at festivals at the moment and manages to be both more conventional and odder than Happy Hour. uses the language of rom-coms sincerely and reflectively without ever feeling smug or condescending. found it utterly beguiling and hilarious for most of its running time but still chewing over the third act machinations; part of me thinks ending half an hour earlier might have made for a more interesting if less satisfying film. both leads give really great performances, particularly Karata in communicating these peaks and troughs of female desire behind an unassertive shell. there's also an unforgettably cold and brutal line delivery in the opening of the closing act that i truly loved. seemed to go down really well with the crowd and there were lots of big laughs which was lovely to see.
Happy Hour is a classic imo but interested if anyone has seen any of his preceding work?
― devvvine, Thursday, 11 October 2018 13:27 (eleven months ago) link
I've had mixed feelings about both Happy Hour and Asako I & II. He's great at creating these amazing scenes - the poetry event! the Ibsen earthquake! the Chekhov argument! - but I feel like the plots in both films kinda got in the way of that amazing feeling of just being there with these great people. The plots are weird in both films, the characters do weird stuff. I just want to watch them do some trust exercises for another fifteen minutes or so.
― Frederik B, Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:23 (eleven months ago) link
happy hour now streaming on mubi, in the uk at least
― devvvine, Saturday, 15 December 2018 16:10 (nine months ago) link
only have seen Happy Hour and Heaven Is Still Far Away. the intimacy and transparency of them is really disarming and attractive
― Dan S, Saturday, 29 June 2019 04:23 (two months ago) link