HAPPY HOUR  (Narrative)


DVD with PPR _ $495.00





Asian Studies, Cinema Studies, Womens Studies




A powerful affirmation of the immersive potential of cinema. Happy Hour is a slow-burning epic chronicling the emotional journey of four thirtysomething women in the misty seaside city of Kobe. As they navigate the unsteady currents of their work, domestic, and romantic lives a sudden, unexpected rift opens between that propels each to a new, richer understanding of life and love. Filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s wise, precisely observed, compulsively watchable drama of friendship and midlife awakening runs over five hours, yet the leisurely duration is not an indulgence but a strategy to create a novelistic space for everyday moments to become charged with possibility that yields a subtle emotional intensity rarely possible in a standard-length film. Happy Hour is far more than just an ordinary melodrama. It is a spectacularly complex and fiercely poetic rendering of the details of daily life in which ideas and feelings are swayed by the unseen forces of friendship and love and buffeted by the weight of deception, loyalty and tradition.



"Hamaguchi is a genius of scene construction, turning the fierce poetry of painfully revealing and pugnaciously wounding dialogue into powerful drama that's sustained by a seemingly spontaneous yet analytically precise visual architecture."

 Richard Brody, The New Yorker


“Quietly beautiful… disarmingly moving.”

Manohla Dargis, New York Times


“A monumental film (that) finds majesty in the mundane”

Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice


" Its length is entirely justified, indeed richly and deeply filled."

 Richard Brody ,The New Yorker


"Hamaguchi’s film develops its characters through accumulated observation and nuance... All we’re really asked to do is watch and listen; as Happy Hour demonstrates with its rare patience, attention and sensitivity, that can make all the difference."

Alex Engquist, Movie Mezzanine


"Bad news first: Happy Hour is pretty much a must-see. Given the option of watching 5+ hours on a weekend afternoon, I suspect most of us would rather not, but there are things it’s worth blowing your day up for."

Vadim Rizov, Filmmaker Magazine


“I emerged from the screening having had what would turn out to be the most immensely absorbing and deeply satisfying cinematic experience I’ve had so far this year."

 Christopher Bourne, ScreenAnarchy


"Hamaguchi's movie foregrounds the quotidian, revealing the latent drama in the most seemingly mundane moments."

Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice


"We’ll be talking about this one for some time to come—and not because of its length."

Dan Sullivan, Film Comment


Film Info

2016 I 317 mins I Japan I Japanese with English Subtitles


Director_Ryusuke HAMAGUCHI

Producers_Satoshi TAKATA, Hideyuki OKAMOTO,

Tadashi NOHARA

Screenplay_ HATANO KOBO

Director of Photography_Yoshio KITAGAWA

Soundr_Izumi MATSUNO



Locarno International Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival 2015

Viennale Vienna International Film Festival

16th San Diego Asian Film Festival

26th Singapore International Film Festival

Hong Kong Independent Film Festival

39th Göteborg Film Festival

45th New Directors/New Films

35th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

Barcelona International Auteur Film Festival

18th Taipei Film Festival

19th Shanghai International Film festival

29th Tokyo International Film Festival




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