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Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

Japan, France 2018 119 mins. In Japanese with subtitles

Hamaguchi’s feature filmmaking career started with a bang with 2015’s incredible Happy Hour, but his latest is no sophomore slump; rather, it’s full of invention. Asako I & II follows the titular 21-year-old Osaka woman (Erika Karata) who falls in love with the charmingly vacant Baku (Masahiro Higashide). One day, Baku mysteriously vanishes, but when, two years later, Asako meets what appears to be his look-alike in Tokyo, her world is thrown upside-down. Crisply shot and beautifully acted, Asako I & II plays like a strange kind of contemporary ghost story, one in which ghosts of the recent past appear in the most unexpected of ways. “Intoxicating. Hamaguchi’s mastery is making you hang on every moment to see how he undercuts or develops on his thesis. It’s thrilling to try and guess where he’ll take the story next.” —Davey Jenkins, Little White Lies.

Filmography: Happy Hour (2015)

Sponsored by the Consular Office of Japan in Portland

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.