Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s career has been closely linked to the San Sebastián Festival since he presented his debut film Passion in the New Directors section in 2008. He’s currently taking part in Perlak with two films, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Drive My Car, the first of which won the special jury award at Berlin while the latter, cowritten with the novelist Haruki Murakami won the award for best screenplay at Cannes as well as the Fipresci Grand Prix.
He explains that his characters are often vulnerable and insecure because he thinks that human beings are imperfect and his characters are profoundly human. He’s very concerned to construct recognisable characters rooted in reality for the audience.
Asked about writing with Murakami, he said that cinema and literature were two different languages but he had been really interested in working with him as novelists have the advantage of working more to stimulate the imagination while filmmakers are more restricted by having to show reality. He thought that a film based on a novel works as long as it is able to capture the spirit of the book. If the adaptation is too literal it usually doesn’t work.