Since its unassuming debut at the 2015 Locarno film festival, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour has become something of a cinephile cult item. A generous and revelatory film that might best be described as falling into the classical genre of the “women’s picture,” this freewheeling five-hour drama concerns a quartet of female friends negotiating a variety of domestic and artistic passions, and it continues to resonate with dedicated viewers in the way a lengthy novel might. By contrast, the 39-year-old Japanese director’s sixth and latest fiction feature, the quietly wise and perceptive Asako I & II, unfolds with the efficiency and poetry of a novella.