Our favourite film of the Berlinale’s 2021 Competition is without a doubt Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Guzen To Sozo (Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy), and if Radu Jude hadn’t provoked with Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn, this surely would have taken the Golden Bear. Instead, it was awarded the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.
Billed as a collection of “short films about coincidence and imagination”, this superbly executed Japanese film is split into three unique chapters: a tortuous love triangle, a ‘honey trap’ seduction that backfires, and a chance encounter set in a world where a computer virus has disabled most of the internet and sclerosed virtual lives.
Equal parts Rohmerian and Murakamian, with all three dialogue-driven stories revolving around women, the overall tapestry it weaves brims with understated poetry and explores human dynamics with recurring motifs of chance, doubles and regret that echo and flow into each other in a remarkable way. It’s unpredictable, oddly tender and nothing short of an absorbing masterpiece, one which will be tough to dethrone when it comes to end of year Best Film lists.
Screening at the Berlinale Summer Special on:
June 15 @ Freiluftkino Museumsinsel
June 16 @ ARTE Sommerkino Schloss Charlottenburg
June 17 @ [email protected]