Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Three's Company: In Hush! a Gay Couple Become a Trio When a Young Woman Decides to Bear Their Child, for out Filmmaker Hashiguchi Ryosuke, It's a Uniquely Japanese Twist. (Film)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Three's Company: In Hush! a Gay Couple Become a Trio When a Young Woman Decides to Bear Their Child, for out Filmmaker Hashiguchi Ryosuke, It's a Uniquely Japanese Twist. (Film)

Article excerpt

Hashiguchi Ryosuke describes the Tokyo bar scene with a laugh: "The gay bars are tiny rooms. Everybody's dressed up nicely. Everybody's gentle. You almost never find a partner in one. Everybody's so well-behaved. Nobody has the guts.

"It's all very old-fashioned and quaint," he continues. "You lean over to your friend and say, `See that boy over there? What's the story with him?' Your friend answers, `Oh, he's 30-something, and his taste in men runs like this ...' That's how connections gradually get made." Like the connection between the two lovers, Naoya (Takahashi Kazuya) and Katsuhiro (Tanabe Seiichi), in Hashiguchi's new film, Hush! We see the two men both as singles and as a couple, but we are not privy to their initial encounter. "They probably met at a bar," Hashiguchi chuckles. "Naoya invited him home."

The 39-year-old director, dapper in designer gray in the French Riviera sun, says that the character with whom he most identifies is Naoya, a cute, openly gay, and very self-absorbed dog groomer who comes from an extremely dysfunctional family (as does Hashiguchi). In the opening scene, Naoya pitifully sees off a trick who can't wait to flee his flat. "Naoya's out, but he's depressed, thinking his life will be a series of one-night stands," says Hashiguchi, who, much to his chagrin, is still single. "He grunts at the small moments of life, like when riding his bicycle or putting on his sunglasses, so that he won't be depressed. It's half prayer, half mantra, a way for him to keep his spirits up."

Hashiguchi directed his first short films, which he terms "private," just as he was coming out. "I fell in love with a man at 17 and realized I was gay," he recalls. "I began to stare long and hard at my gayness, which I could no longer deny. Making films is a search for your identity. …

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