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Drive My Car

Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
184 minutes
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The prolific Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Cannes Competition contender takes a Haruki Murakami short story as the basis for an intricate and potent drama of secrets and lies.
Hamaguchi won the Berlinale Silver Bear earlier this year for Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, also screening at SFF 2021. In Drive My Car, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a stage actor and director who is happily married to screenwriter Oto (Reika Kirishima). Oto revels in narrating the kinky storylines of her projects while having sex with Kafuku. One day Kafuku returns home unexpectedly and discovers something that will haunt him. A few years later, he is directing Uncle Vanya at a theatre festival in Hiroshima. There, against his will, he is assigned a chauffeur, an uncommunicative young woman Misaki (Toko Miura), who only gradually reveals more of her story. He is also joined in Hiroshima by a famous actor with whom he shares a complicated history. Hamaguchi x-rays these characters, each haunted by their past, as he incisively explores ideas of love, desire, infidelity, guilt and atonement.

Ryusuke Hamaguchi was born in 1978. His graduation film, Passion, screened at San Sebastián Film Festival in 2008 as well as the TOKYO FILMeX Competition. Happy Hour (2015) premiered at Locarno and won awards at numerous film festivals. Asako I & II (2018) was selected for the Cannes Competition in 2018 and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale in 2021.
Hamaguchi’s filmmaking, always accomplished, reaches new heights of refinement and sensory richness here, principally via Shinomiya’s immaculate, opaline lensing.
Guy Lodge, Variety
Adapted from a short story of the same name by globally feted Japanese author Haruki Murakami, this highbrow road movie is an absorbing, technically assured piece of work with poetic depths and novelistic ambitions.
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter


Fri 12 Nov
State Theatre
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Sat 13 Nov
State Theatre
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Sun 14 Nov
Sold Out Dendy Newtown 2
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Program Strand
Official Competition
In English, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Indonesian, German and Malaysian with English subtitles
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Yamamoto Teruhisa
Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Oe Takamasa
Shinomiya Hidetoshi
Azusa Yamazaki
Cannes Selected, Arts, Asia, Gender & Sexuality, Literary & Adaptations
Company Credits
Sales Agent: The Match Factory
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