Close Up

19 November - 12 December 2021: Passion


Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2008, 115 min
Japanese with English subtitles  

“A young couple announces their engagement at a celebration with friends whose reactions, however, indicate that within the group lurk unspoken, contradictory feelings concealing affairs of the distant past. While the women go home after the celebration, the men carry on and end up at the flat of a mutual girlfriend. During that night and the following days, tension between the participants rapidly comes to the surface and their mutual bonds fundamentally change. The movie structures the narration into four parts individually tied to a certain time and place, each of which moves the general situation in a surprising direction. As the ambiguous title anticipates, passion can suggest affection, anger, or suffering. The film treats the communication of extreme emotions as a variation on the cycle of violence from which there is seemingly no escape. This delicately-conceived film gradually shifts attention away from specific relationships to a common plane where the outcome becomes a complex meditation on wounding others and the burden of forgiveness.” – Tokyo University of the Arts

Screening as part of our Ryûsuke Hamaguchi retrospective and as part of Japan 2021: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.