A Re-Introduction to Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Asako I & II (寝ても覚めても) [In-Person Only]
$13 General Admission
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When Asako’s first love suddenly disappears, she’s given a chance to relive her romance two years later when she meets his perfect double, in Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Palme d’Or–nominated romantic drama. A film on the mundane magic of falling in love, Asako I & II is the brilliant screen adaptation of Tomoka Shibasaki’s bestselling novel, Netemo Sametemo.
When Asako (Erika Karata), a shy student from Osaka, meets Baku (Masahiro Higashide) at a photo exhibition, it’s love at first sight: a mystical experience erasing the world around them — akin to a curse. Baku is a mysterious and gorgeous-looking young man. He likes to disappear when the mood strikes him; one day he’s gone for good.
Two years later, Asako, now working as a server in a Tokyo coffee shop, spots Ryohei (also Higashide). A young employee at a company that produces sake, he looks exactly like Baku, to the point that Asako is convinced she’s finally found her lost lover. Ryohei may look like Baku but he is a very different person: he has no secrets, he is honest and kind-hearted and will love Asako with a faithful, protective love, destined to last forever — the kind of love that’s so reassuring it might even be scary.
(Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan & France, 2018, 119 min, in Japanese with English subtitles)
Description courtesy of tiff. Visit Grasshopper Film website for full photo credits.
“Enchanting… Playful and profound… A truly original riff on the doppelgänger touchstone that is Vertigo.” – Dennis Lim, Film Comment
“It’s refreshing to see a high-concept movie that doesn’t assume every love story has to reach a tidy conclusion, and implies that some happy endings are best left open-ended.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire
美しい爆弾のような一作。” – 朝井リョウ（小説家）
“The visible thing; the invisible thing; which does your spirit turn to? This movie’s affirmation of impressions can be a life philosophy; the film is like a beautiful bomb.” – novelist Ryo Asai