Happy Hour ハッピーアワー (2015)

Happy Hour   

Happy Hour Film Poster
Happy Hour Film Poster

Happy Hour ハッピーアワー(2015)

ハッピーアワー「Happi- Awa-」 

Release Date: December, 2015

Seen at the London Film Festival

Running Time: 317 mins.

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Writer: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara, Tomoyuki Takahashi (Screenplay)

Starring:  Rira Kawamura, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara, Sachie Tanaka, Shuhei Shibata, Ami Kugai, Sachiko Fukunaga, Reina Shiihashi,

Website IMDB

Happy Hour is a film unlikely to get licensed in the West. With a five hour seventeen minute running time dedicated to showing the lives of four middle-aged women, distributors might think that the film is likely to test the patience of many and for some in the audience I was with when I saw it at the London Film Festival that proved to be true. For viewers with patience this is less the endurance test it sounds like and more an example of a character-driven story rich in small incidents and details that build up to show lives of three-dimensional characters whose stories are quietly compelling. While slow it paints a fascinating picture of contemporary Japan with a little social commentary added.

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Japanese Films at the London Film Festival 2015

BFI Film Festival

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival was announced last week and it has a selection of interesting titles. A lot of the features have been in festivals since the start of the year and two of them have gotten mixed reviews from critics which is disappointing if you want to see new work. The chances of some of these showing up on DVD and possibly theatrically is guaranteed which makes me wonder why I should go to the festival but… BUT… There are plenty of Japanese films so I shall refrain from complaining anymore. There are also some quality titles and two surprises. There are films not yet released in Japan and ones that must be seen on the big screen!

The ones that audiences should seek out, in my opinion, are Love & Peace, Happy Hour, Our Little Sister, The Boy and the Beast, and possibly Ghost Theatre.

Here are the films for you to see so you can make up your mind as to what looks good!

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