Asako I & II
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi. 2018, 119 mins. Digital projection. In Japanese with English subtitles. With Erika Karata, Masahiro Higashide, Koji Seto, Rio Yamashita, Sairi Ito, Daichi Watanabe. A mysterious and intoxicating pop romance, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed Happy Hour (Curators’ Choice 2016) centers around Asako, a young woman who meets and falls madly in love with a handsome drifter, Baku, who one day vanishes from her life. Two years later she encounters Baku again—or, rather, a young, solid businessman named Ryohei who bears a striking resemblance to her old flame. They begin building a happy life together until traces of Asako’s past begin to resurface.