Icarus Films will be teaming with The KimStim Collection on Dec. 5 for the domestic double-disc DVD debut of Japanese filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour, an intense tale of life, love and careers in Kobe, Japan as experienced by Akari, Jun, Fumi and Sakurako — four women in their late 30s — who have reached a crossroads in their collective lives which will test their friendships.
Hamaguchi’s film is of Japanese culture; of Japanese theatre. The superficial nature of a discussion about one’s job or Jun’s (played by Rira Kawamura) forthcoming divorce, are but openings to broader issues that reflect issues, not only in the lives of Hamaguchi’s protagonists, but of modern Japanese society in general.
Happy Hour is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
In other release news from Icarus Films this week, documentary filmmaker Tancrède Ramonet’s three-part French television mini-series, No Gods, No Masters, will be available in the domestic marketplace on Nov. 21 as double-disc DVD product offering.
Ramonet’s presentation focuses on the subject of anarchy and the history of a broader intellectual movement that dates to middle of the 19th Century, which is covered in the first segment titled “The Passion for Destruction.” Here the subject is French radical Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the “father of anarchism,” and his writings, most notably the 1840 publication of “What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government” — he declared that property was the equivalent of theft.
The second segment is title “Land and Freedom” and covers the anarchy movement from 1907 through World War I and the rise of Communism as embodied in the Soviet Union (through roughly 1921).
The third segment looks at the Roaring 20s, the Depression and the period through World War II and is titled “In Memory of the Vanquished.” Here the examination focuses on the disarray of the anarchist movement and the rise of totalitarian regimes — most notably European Fascism and Communism.
As a bonus there is an extended video session with political activist and scholar, Noam Chomsky.
No Gods, No Masters is presented primarily in French with English subtitles.