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UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation present


A man holding a plastic baby in a store.
April 2, 2022 - 7:30 pm


Japan, 2001

Early in writer-director Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s Hush!, Naoya (Kazuya Takahashi), an out and proud dog groomer, makes coffee alone in his kitchen, listening. In the other room, Katsuhiro (Seiichi Tanabe), a reserved and private engineer, gets dressed. They’ve only just met and Naoya wonders intently: Will he or won’t he stay? When Naoya gets the answer he was hoping for, coffee overflows, loneliness recedes, and domestic bliss rushes in. It’s a quietly ecstatic moment grounded in an everydayness that exemplifies Hashiguchi’s style even as what leads from it grows increasingly complex. Sure, Naoya and Katsuhiro have differences to negotiate but it’s after a brash, troubled young woman, Asako (Reiko Kataoka), barges into their lives that their new relationship is really tested. Desperately alone, Asako wants what she thinks Naoya and Katsuhiro have and so becomes obsessed with having a baby with Katsuhiro. If that sounds like a predictable setup for broad comedy and treacly pronouncements, Hashiguchi surprises. He’s genuinely curious about exploring the possibilities and meaning of family within a still tradition-bound cultural context.

35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles, 135 min. Director: Ryosuke Hashiguchi. Screenwriter: Ryosuke Hashiguchi. With: Reiko Kataoka, Kazuya Takahashi, Seiichi Tanabe, Yoko Akino, Manami Fuji.