Korean maestro and Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (Right Now, Wrong Then) embarks on an intriguing foray into the uncanny with this ingenious spin on Luis Buñuel’s final masterpiece That Obscure Object of Desire.
Painter Youngsoo (Kim Joo-hyuk) hears secondhand that his girlfriend, Minjung (Lee Yoo-young), has recently had (many) drinks with an unknown man. This leads to a quarrel that seems to end their relationship. The next day, Youngsoo sets out in search of her, at the same time that Minjung—or a woman who looks exactly like her and may or may not be her twin—has a series of encounters with strange men, some of whom claim to have met her before. Continue reading
Movie director Jo Moon-Kyeong (Kim Sang-Kyung), who recently decided to immigrate to Canada, takes a trip down to the small sea-side town of Tongyeong, South Korea. There he meets acquaintance Bang Jong-Sik (Yu Jun-Sang) who is a movie critic. The film director and movie critic sits down to have drinks and talk about their past.
They also come across Yang Seong-Wook (Moon So-Ri), who is an amateur poet and cultural guide in Tongyeong and a charming young woman (Kim Gyu-Ri). Continue reading
An art film director meets a fledgling artist and invites her for sushi and soju. Continue reading
The delightful new film from Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (In Another Country) presents two variations on a potentially fateful romantic encounter between a filmmaker and a painter, tracing each to its own very distinct outcome.
The latest film from Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo pursues the always-alluring possibility of love down two very different paths. In Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong presents two variations on a potentially fateful encounter between a filmmaker and an artist, tracing each to its own very distinct outcome. Continue reading
Hong Sang-soo Gets in Touch with Inner Frenchman in Night and Day
A Korean in Paris
By Scott Foundas Tuesday, Oct 20 2009
‘We can’t easily tell night from day during the summers here,” observes one character early on in Hong Sang-soo’s Paris-set Night and Day—a nearly throwaway line that circumscribes the sense of physical and spiritual dislocation felt by the film’s protagonist. Like most of the director’s leading men, Kim Sung-nam (Kim Yeong-ho) is a hangdog, self-absorbed, soju-guzzling Hong alter ego—a fortyish Korean artist who flees to the City of Lights after an episode of recreational drug use leads him to believe he is under police investigation. There, he rents a room in a crowded boarding house and resolves to lay low until he can safely return home to his wife, Sung-in (Hwang Su-jeong), or else find a way to bring her to France. But resolutions aside, it isn’t long before Sung-nam finds himself navigating Hong’s trademark gauntlet of awkward seductions, casual betrayals, and ghosts of girlfriends past. Continue reading
NYFF perennial Hong Sang-soo’s latest may be his wittiest—and his most deeply felt—work to date. Toggling between the present and the past, reality and fiction, and divided into four chapters (and different points of view), Oki’s Movie recounts the amorous and artistic adventures of talented young director Jin-gu (Lee Sun-kyun), his middle-aged cinema instructor, Professor Song (Moon Sung-keun), and Oki (Jung Yumi), the woman who loves them both.
As “Pomp and Circumstance” wryly plays throughout, the protagonists nobly fumble their way through romance and work, culminating in Jin-gu’s disastrous post-screening Q&A. Hong’s eleventh feature is a comedy with tremendous emotional heft, concluding with a heartbreaking précis on the vagaries of the heart and the terrors of aging. Continue reading
Kwon (Seo Young-hwa) returns to Seoul from a restorative stay in the mountains. She is given a packet of letters left by Mori (Ryo Kase), who has come back from Japan to propose to her. As she walks down a flight of stairs, Kwon drops and scatters the letters, all of which are undated. When she reads them, she has to make sense of the chronology… and so must we. Hong Sang-soo’s daring new film, alternately funny and haunting, is a series of disordered scenes based on the letters, echoing the cultural dislocation felt by Mori as he tries to make himself understood in halting English. At what point did he drink himself into a lonely stupor? Did he sleep with the waitress from the Hill of Freedom café (Moon So-ri) before or after he despaired of seeing Kwon again? Sixteen films into a three-decade career, Hong has achieved a rare simplicity in his storytelling, allowing for an ever-increasing psychological richness and complexity. Continue reading