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News - 01.20.2022

“MA in Japanese Film” Webinar with Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, Director of Academy Award-Shortlisted “Drive My Car

Drive My Car, Reika Kirishima and Hidetoshi Nishijima
Reika Kirishima and Hidetoshi Nishijima / Courtesy of Sideshow & Janus Films

Program Examines the Role of MA in Japanese Films

LOS ANGELES – January 20, 2022 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, a Japanese cultural destination in the heart of Hollywood, announces MA in Japanese Film: In Conversation with Film Director Ryūsuke Hamaguchi,the final webinar in its Rethinking of MA Webinar Series. Award-winning filmmaker Hamaguchi – whose film “Drive My Car” is shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category – joins series hosts Professors Hitoshi Abe of UCLA and Ken Tadashi Oshima of University of Washington in a conversation exploring the role of MA in Japanese films. The online event takes place Tuesday, February 1, 2022 from 5:00 - 6:15 p.m. PST.

The concept of MA, which roughly translates to “negative space,” evokes a deeper sense of a gap or pause that gives new shape and meaning to the whole. This seeming paradox is a core philosophy in Japanese culture, where absence can be as important as presence. Through the four-part Rethinking of MA series, JAPAN HOUSE explores the diverse ways MA is applied everywhere from art, architecture, and food.

In the upcoming final webinar, Hamaguchi shares the application of MA during his filmmaking process. Hamaguchi’s film “Drive My Car” is generating substantial international acclaim, including being voted this year’s Golden Globe winner for Best Picture – Non-English Language and Best Picture of 2021 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film is now in theaters nationwide.

“The character for ‘ma’ combines the characters for ‘gate’ above and the ‘sun’ below, an image of light beaming through the empty space of a doorway. So, it’s fitting that ‘ma’ can be observed most directly in traditions of architecture and interior design,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. “We’re honored to close out this four-part webinar series on the subject of MA in film with a renowned director. Rethinking of MA has been captivating, with a host of guest speakers respected for their work in Japanese architecture, contemporary art, cuisine, and now film.”

“MA in Japanese Film” takes place in partnership with UCLA's Terasaki Center, UCLA's xLab, and University of Washington's Japanese Studies program, in addition to promotional partners Asia Society of Southern California and Japan America Society of Southern California.

The first three Rethinking of MA webinars are currently available to view online:

Register for “MA in Japanese Film” here.

For more information, visit the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles website and social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs – London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo – conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floors at Hollywood & Highland, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.

Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

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