Asako I & II

(Japan/France/2018—directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi) 

An intoxicating pop romance, as well as a charming snapshot of the everyday magic and mystery of falling in love, director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s clever adaptation of a Japanese best-selling novel begins when Asako (Erika Karata), a shy young student from Osaka, meets and falls head over heels for a drifter, Baku, who tends to vanish from time to time until he one day drifts right out of her life.

Two years later, working in Tokyo, Asako sees a young, no-nonsense businessman named Ryohei who bears a striking resemblance to her old flame, yet seems to have a completely different personality. They nevertheless start building a life together, until traces of Asako’s past begin to resurface. Cannes, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. In Japanese with English subtitles. (119 min.) 

“Enchanting, playful and profound! A truly original riff on the touchstone that is Vertigo.” -Dennis Lim, Film Comment 

 

 

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