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Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
2021
Japan
121 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s intimate psychodrama (Silver Bear, Berlinale 2021) features a triptych of stories about three coincidences and three complicated women.
Director Hamaguchi (Happy Hour, 2015) is a master of twisting expectations. Each story is a collision between two people, leading to shocking and unexpectedly moving outcomes. A model gossips with her friend about a relationship that is closer to home than either of them could have anticipated. A mature age student sets a honey trap for a professor, only to be confronted by his candour. The final story, shot during Japan’s COVID lockdown, is set in the near future. Two women, separated for decades, reunite in an emptied Tokyo – before making a startling discovery. These magical tales of chance and desire are tempered by Hamaguchi’s naturalistic style – each not-quite romance fully conveys the messy, miraculous nature of life.
This trio of stories is elegant and amusing, with a delicacy of touch and real imaginative warmth.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Emotionally authentic and consistently absorbing.
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
Program Strand
First Films
Original Title
Guzen to sozo
Year
2021
Classification
Unclassified 15+
Country
Japan
Language
In Japanese with English subtitles
Director
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Producer
Satoshi Takata
Cast
Kotone Furukawa, Ayumu Nakajima, Hyunri
Cinematographer
Yukiko Iioka
Editor
Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Australian Distributor
Potential Films
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