In Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s triptych of short films, coincidence and chance encounters interrupt the fragile reality of waking life. Alternately playful, comedic, and cynical, WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY plumbs the theatrical depths hidden beneath simple stories: an unexpected love triangle, an attempt to seduce and blackmail a professor, and a meeting between two old friends. Hamaguchi’s eye for conversational nuances and gestures shows us just how much our daily interactions with others are based on acting, role-playing, and misdirection: a prominent theme in many of his other films, including HAPPY HOUR, ASAKO I & II (HIFF 2018), and this year’s DRIVE MY CAR (also playing at the Festival). Appearances deceive, actions lie, and people are not who they seem to be.

Shot partially during the COVID-19 pandemic (a limitation that the film seizes on in an unexpected way), WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY was the winner of a Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival, where it premiered.

-Emerson Goo



Online Access

Access Window: November 4, 2021 - November 28, 2021
Passholder Access: All Access, Limited Virtual, Supporter, Hale Virtual Festival, Individual
Only Accessible from: HAWAII ONLY

Live Stream

Film Details

DIRECTOR(S)Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
PRODUCER(S)Satoshi Takada
SCREENWRITER(S)Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
CASTKotone Furukawa, Shouma Kai, Aoba Kawai, Hyunri Lee, Katsuki Mori, Ayumu Nakajima, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Fusako Urabe

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Film Details

PREMIERE STATUS: Hawai‘i Premiere
YEAR: 2021
RUN TIME: 121 Minutes
LANGUAGE: Japanese, with English subtitles


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