Happy Hour at MoMA

2016 August 26
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.happyhour2

Back in March I didn’t have time to blog about my participation in the New Directors New Films festival held at Lincoln Center, but I had the chance to interpret for director Ryusuke Hamaguchi when his epic film Happy Hour was screened there.  With a run time of 317 minutes it is not for the meek, but I can honestly say that it didn’t feel nearly as long as its 5+ hours and that it was a movie I thoroughly enjoyed.  Perhaps because I am the same age as the four female 38-year old main characters, all amateurs who were selected for their parts via an acting workshop that Hamaguchi ran in Kobe.

As you can imagine, the film’s long run time allows it to delve deeply into each of the four women’s lives.  The central thread is that of the character Jun (pictured here on the left), who is the connection between all four women and trying to divorce her husband.  The film also explores how two of the other marriages deal with the demands of domestic life, as well as the lone single woman’s negotiating of her work and love lives.  The film takes some dark turns and could have been cut in some places, but overall it feels like the right length to tell this story.

So if you find yourself with a five-hour chunk of time and nothing to do in the next few days, check out Happy Hour at MOMA!

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