On a new episode of the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re excited to present an archival conversation between journalist & author Min Jin Lee and Drive My Car director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, whose new film, Evil Does Not Exist, will make its U.S. premiere as a Main Slate selection of the 61st New York Film Festival.
Inspired by a Haruki Murakami short story, Drive My Car has Ryûsuke Hamaguchi spinning an engrossing, rapturous epic about love and betrayal, grief and acceptance. With his characteristic emotional transparency, Hamaguchi charts the unexpected, complex relationships that theater actor-director Yûsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) forges with a trio of people out of professional, physical, or psychological necessity: his wife, Oto (Reika Kirishima), with whom he shares an erotic bond forged in fantasy and storytelling; the mysterious actor Takatsuki (Masaki Okada), whom he’s drawn to by a sense of revenge as much as fascination; and, perhaps most mysteriously, Misaki (Tôko Miura), a plaintive young woman hired by a theater company, against his wishes, to be his chauffeur while he stages Uncle Vanya. Hamaguchi specializes in revelations of the heart, and Drive My Car—a beautiful melding of two distinct authorial sensibilities—consistently steers clear of the familiar in its characters’ journeys towards self-examination. Winner of Best Screenplay at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. A Sideshow and Janus Films presentation. An NYFF59 Main Slate selection.
Watch and listen below.