Book & Film Groups

Double Desire: Navigating Post-3/11 Relationships in Hamaguchi Ryūsuke’s “Asako I & II” (2018)

Director Hamaguchi Ryūsuke burst into the cinematic mainstream with his Best International Feature Film Oscar win for Drive My Car in 2022, but few are aware of his already prodigious filmography. Coming from a theatrical background and with a penchant for working with amateur actors, many of Hamaguchi’s films focus on the impact of the 3/11 Triple Disaster on human relationships, Asako I & II being a particular standout. While never addressing or depicting the 3/11 catastrophe directly, the spectre of this tragedy veritably haunts the story of a young woman (Asako) and her relationship with Ryūhei, who bears an uncanny physical resemblance to her enigmatic former lover, Baku. In its incorporation of theatrical conventions and classic filmic tropes, Hamaguchi’s film invokes the very origins of cinema and its connection to the advent of modern psychoanalysis.

In this online workshop we will discuss this fascinating and evocative film and the ways in which it explores interpersonal relationships in the age of climate catastrophe and the limits of cinematic representation.

More info. and registration