With the extraordinary success of Drive My Car on the global festival and awards circuit, director Ryusuke Hamaguchi has emerged as one of the most beloved filmmakers in the world. In honor of today’s announcement of our upcoming edition of the movie, we wanted to share the director’s heartfelt speech upon accepting Best Film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards ceremony, held in Manhattan on March 16—the week before Drive My Car took home the Oscar for Best International Feature Film. The text of the speech, previously unpublished and presented below, was translated by Aiko Masubuchi and has been slightly edited for clarity.
I am honored that the New York Film Critics Circle, with its long history, has given our film, Drive My Car, the Best Film award. Thank you very much.
Watching and listening are the foundations of living a better life. We live in a time when many of us have been separated and isolated from one another. But this did not begin today; it’s in fact a universal situation that we all must live through. However, I believe that seeing better and listening better might be the best and simplest way for us to overcome our circumstances and connect and reconnect with one another.
For me, film criticism, filmmaking, and living a better life are all connected as one in the act of watching and listening. Of course, it takes a long time to deeply see and listen, and it’s no easy task. However, I truly believe that our work is meaningful in the way that it can connect one person with another.
Watching and listening are passive actions. They do not change the world. At best, they preserve us and update us by a very small degree. However, to change ourselves even a little is to change the world by a little. Let’s continue our work together.
I would like to take this opportunity to, once again, thank the cast and crew who worked incredibly hard to realize Haruki Murakami’s world of storytelling. I am deeply grateful to the members of the New York Film Critics Circle for finding our film. Thank you very much.
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