A beautifully emotive excavation of affect, one that is playful yet earnest, Hamaguchi's dramatic sensibilities remain delightful and distinct. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is yet another reminder that Hamaguchi is one of the most pensive contemporary filmmakers when it comes to encapsulating the interiority of the soul and its contrast with the externalities of sociality. The synthesis of the social and personal, and how they are reflective and reciprocal to not only experience but cognitive development is integrally developed over these three stories. The formal style deployed here is simple yet illuminating, as Hamaguchi masterfully deploys shot-reverse-shot and a general acute directorial eye to heighten the most simple conversational interactions into moments that reach towards transcendence. All three short stories have distinct attributes that are quite compelling, and each touches on different emotional circumstances but they are bound by the theme of the relationship between the personal and social and how we find solace or resolve internally but also through external interaction as we forge our way through the intrinsically anarchic nature that is life. Hamaguchi continues to be in my mind, one of the truly great filmmakers working today.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.