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Ryusuke Hamaguchi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Hamaguchi in 2018.
Born (1978-12-16) 16 December 1978 (age 45)
Alma mater
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
Years active2001–present
Japanese name
RomanizationHamaguchi Ryūsuke

Ryusuke Hamaguchi (濱口 竜介, Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, [hamaꜜɡɯtɕiɾʲɯꜜːsɯ̥ke] ; born 16 December 1978) is a Japanese film director and screenwriter. An alumnus of the University of Tokyo and the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, he started gaining attention in his home country with the graduate film Passion (2008).

Hamaguchi first gained international recognition with the film Happy Hour (2015) and continued with Asako I & II (2018). In 2021, he released two films, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Drive My Car; for the latter he received two Academy Awards nominations, for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. He is the third Japanese director to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director.[1] In 2023, he released two films Evil Does Not Exist and Gift.

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  • Asako I and II by Ryusuke Hamaguchi - Trailer



After graduating from the University of Tokyo, Hamaguchi worked in the commercial film industry for a few years before entering the graduate program in film at Tokyo University of the Arts where he studied with and was influenced by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.[2] His graduation film Passion was selected for the competition of the 2008 Tokyo Filmex.[3][4][5]

With Kō Sakai, he made a three-part documentary about survivors of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, with Voices from the Waves being selected for the competition at the 2013 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival,[6] and Storytellers winning the Sky Perfect IDEHA Prize.[7]

His next film, Happy Hour, was first developed while Hamaguchi was an artist in residence at KIITO Design and Creative Center Kobe in 2013.[8] It came out of an improvisational acting workshop he held for non-professionals, with many of the film's performers having participated in the workshop.[9] The four lead actresses shared the best actress award and the film earned a special mention for its script at the 2015 Locarno Film Festival.[10] Hamaguchi was also given a special jury award at the 2016 Japan Movie Critic Awards,[11] as well as a best newcomer award in the film division of the Agency for Cultural Affairs' Geijutsu Sensho Awards that year.[12]

His Asako I & II was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[13][14]

In 2021, Hamaguchi won the Silver Bear award at the Berlinale with his Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. That same year his Drive My Car won Best Picture awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, Boston Society of Film Critics, and Los Angeles Film Critics Association as well as "Best Motion Picture - Non-English Language" at the Golden Globes. Hamaguchi was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for Drive My Car, becoming the third Japanese director to accomplish this feat.

In 2023, his film Evil Does Not Exist was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.[15] That same year, he released the film Gift, which uses the same footage as Evil Does Not Exist (though with a different story) and is accompanied by a live score.[16]

Influences and style

Hamaguchi has referred to himself as "purely a cinephile" and "conventionally in love with Hollywood films." He has been influenced by the works of John Cassavetes.[17]


  • "To some extent, all films are fiction and documentary at the same time. I have experienced to make both, and I believe there is no such thing as pure fiction or pure documentary."[18]
  • "The actor is acting in front of the camera. What the camera captures there is a documentary about the actors, because they're doing something which happens only once."[18]
  • (On the multilingual staging in Drive My Car) "In a multilingual staging, of course, they're not understanding the meaning of the words. Instead, the body language and the voice tones is what becomes more important to convey those feelings or the emotional state of the respective actors. It becomes easier to focus and react. That's a nice way I look at it to get a more simple and strong performance."[19]
  • (On the ending of Drive My Car) "Once I talked with a big fan of Drive My Car who said that it really would have been perfect without that ending. (Laugh) Well, I think maybe the reason I ended that way is to make it a bit imperfect." "In terms of the final staging of the play in applause, if I had ended the movie at that point, presumably the audience would want to do a round of applause, and it would almost be like closing of a full circle. But for me that didn't really feel like a satisfying ending. I wanted to do something a bit more disruptive, to leave some sort of break."[19]
  • (On the ending of Drive My Car) "I have no any plans of making a sequel, but I was just sort of playing around with things at the end there. One other thing I'd like to say is that the title itself also might give a clue to how you can interpret the ending."[19]

Political views

In December 2023, alongside 50 other filmmakers, Hamaguchi signed an open letter published in Libération demanding a ceasefire and an end to the killing of civilians amid the 2023 Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, and for a humanitarian corridor into Gaza to be established for humanitarian aid, and the release of hostages.[20][21][22]


Year Title Original title Director Writer Length (min) Notes
2001 Go to the Movies 映画を見に行く Yes Yes 8 Short film
2003 Like Nothing Happened [23] 何食わぬ顔 Yes Yes 98 Short version 43 min
2005 The Beginning はじまり Yes Yes 13 Short film
Friend of the Night Yes Yes 44 Short film
2006 Scent of Memory 記憶の香り Yes No 28 Short film
Attack 遊撃 Yes Yes 17 Short film
2007 Solaris Yes Yes 90
2008 PASSION [24] Yes Yes 115 Graduation work at The Tokyo University of the Arts
2009 I Love Thee For Good [25] 永遠に君を愛す Yes No 58
2010 The Depths Yes Yes 121 Co-written by Kôta Ôura
2011 The Sound of the Waves [26] 東北記録映画三部作 なみのおと Yes No 142 Documentary; co-directed by Ko Sakai
2013 Voices from the Waves - Kesennuma [27] 東北記録映画三部作 なみのこえ 気仙沼 Yes No 109 Documentary; co-directed by Ko Sakai
Voices from the Waves - Shinchi-machi [28] 東北記録映画三部作 なみのこえ 新地町 Yes No 103 Documentary; co-directed by Ko Sakai
Storytellers [29][30] 東北記録映画三部作 うたうひと Yes No 120 Documentary; co-directed by Ko Sakai
Intimacies [31] 親密さ Yes Yes 255 Short version 136 min
Touching the Skin of Eeriness [32] 不気味なものの肌に触れる Yes No 54
2015 Happy Hour ハッピーアワー Yes Yes 317 Co-written by Tadashi Nohara and Tomoyuki Takahashi
2016 Heaven Is Still Far Away [33] 天国はまだ遠い Yes Yes 38 Short film
2018 Asako I & II 寝ても覚めても Yes Yes 119 Co-written by Sachiko Tanaka
2020 Wife of a Spy スパイの妻 No Yes 115
2021 Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy 偶然と想像 Yes Yes 121
Drive My Car ドライブ・マイ・カー Yes Yes 179 Co-written by Takamasa Oe
2023 Evil Does Not Exist 悪は存在しない Yes Yes 106
Gift ギフト Yes Yes 74 Created to accompany a live score by Eiko Ishibashi


Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2015 Nantes Three Continents Festival Le prix du public Happy Hour Won [34]
2021 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy Won [35]
Cannes Film Festival Best Screenplay Drive My Car Won [36]
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Picture Won [37]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best International / Foreign Language Film Won [38]
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Film Won [39]
Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Picture Won [40]
Best Screenplay Won
2022 Academy Awards Best Picture Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best International Feature Film Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Film Won [41][42]
Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Won
2023 Asian Film Awards Best Director Nominated [43]
Venice International Film Festival Golden Lion Evil Does Not Exist Nominated
Grand Jury Prize Won


  1. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy. "Oscars: 'Drive My Car' Makes History As First Japanese Film Nominated For Best Picture". Deadline. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  2. ^ 里信, 邦子. "「ハッピーアワー」の濱口監督、「人は本当に思っていることが言えない」". SWI swissinfo (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  3. ^ "『PASSION』濱口竜介(監督)インタビュー". Eiga Geijutsu (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Tokyo FILMeX Competition". TOKYO FILMeX 2008. TOKYO FILMeX. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  5. ^ "映画に寄せるたおやかなパッション──濱口竜介監督インタヴュー". Flower Wild. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. ^ "YIDFF: Past Festivals: 2013: Screening List". Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  7. ^ "YIDFF: Past Festivals: 2013". Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  8. ^ "濱口竜介監督作品『ハッピーアワー』ロカルノ国際映画祭にて最優秀女優賞受賞/脚本スペシャルメンション授与 KIITO". KIITO (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Dan. "Review: Happy Hour, Ryusuke Hamaguchi". Film Comment. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Palmarès 2015". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Dai 25-kai Jusho Sakuhin". 日本映画批評家大賞 公式サイト. Japan Movie Critics Award. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Geijutsu Senshō Rekidai Jushōsha Ichiran" (PDF). Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  13. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  15. ^ Lodge, Guy (9 September 2023). "Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone's 'Poor Things' Wins Golden Lion at Venice, Peter Sarsgaard and Cailee Spaeny Take Acting Prizes (Full List of Winners)". Variety. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  16. ^ Newman, Nick (25 July 2023). "Ryūsuke Hamaguchi Will Debut His Second New Film of 2023, Gift, with a Live Score from Eiko Ishibashi This October". Retrieved 27 May 2024.
  17. ^ Rizov, Vadim. ""My First Studio, Commercially Made Film": Ryūsuke Hamaguchi on Solaris, Asako I & II and Japanese Film School". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  18. ^ a b The Nikkei [*Japan's economic newspaper] (October 10, 2021)
  19. ^ a b c Ryûsuke Hamaguchi on Drive My Car | NYFF59, retrieved 17 January 2022
  20. ^ "Gaza : des cinéastes du monde entier demandent un cessez-le-feu immédiat". Libération (in French). 28 December 2023. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  21. ^ Newman, Nick (29 December 2023). "Claire Denis, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Christian Petzold, Apichatpong Weerasethakul & More Sign Demand for Ceasefire in Gaza". The Film Stage. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  22. ^ "Directors of cinema sign petition for immediate ceasefire". The Jerusalem Post. 31 December 2023. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  23. ^ Like Nothing Happened (short version), retrieved 30 December 2021
  24. ^ Japan Society Film | Passion, retrieved 30 December 2021
  25. ^ I Love Thee For Good, retrieved 30 December 2021
  26. ^ "The Sound of the Waves | YIDFF 311 Documentary Film Archive" (in Japanese). Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  27. ^ "YIDFF: 2013: International Competition". Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Voices from the Waves SHINCHIMACHI | YIDFF 311 Documentary Film Archive" (in Japanese). Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  29. ^ "Storytellers | YIDFF 311 Documentary Film Archive" (in Japanese). Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  30. ^ "Storytellers | Metrograph". Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  31. ^ "Intimacies | Metrograph". Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  32. ^ Japan Society Film | Touching the Skin of Eeriness, retrieved 30 December 2021
  33. ^ Japan Society Film | Heaven Is Still Far Away, retrieved 30 December 2021
  34. ^ "Senses". Festival des 3 Continents. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  35. ^ "Awards & Honours 2021". Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  36. ^ "All the 74th Festival de Cannes Awards". Festival de Cannes 2021. 17 July 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  37. ^ "Awards - New York Film Critics Circle - NYFCC". Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  38. ^ "2021 WAFCA Award Winners - The Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA)". Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  39. ^ "Current Winners – 2021 Awards". Boston Society of Film Critics. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  40. ^, Adam Jones-. "Awards - LAFCA". Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  41. ^ "National Society of Film Critics". National Society of Film Critics. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  42. ^ White, Abbey (8 January 2022). "National Society of Film Critics 2022 Winners List". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  43. ^ Ntim, Zac (6 January 2023). "Asian Film Awards: Decision to Leave And Drive My Car Lead Nominations". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 January 2023.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 June 2024, at 10:18
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