Sang-soo Hong – Hahaha (2010)

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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

Sang-soo Hong – Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da AKA Right Now, Wrong Then (2015)

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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

Sang-soo Hong – Bam gua nat AKA Night and Day (2008)

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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

Sang-soo Hong – Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa AKA Oki’s Movie (2010)

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Synopsis
“NYFF” wrote:
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

Sang-soo Hong – Ja-yu-eui eon-deok AKA Hill of Freedom (2014)

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Quote:
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

Sang-soo Hong – Hahaha (2010)

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Jo Munkyung (Kim Sang-kyung) — a would-be filmmaker on the cusp of immigrating to Canada — bumps into old friend Bang Jungshik (Yu Jun-sang). The two sit down for drinks and reminisce about their summer vacations, which coincidentally took them both to the coastal city of Tongyeong. We discover their holidays overlapped in other ways, including separate encounters with Wang Seongok (Moon So-ri), a somewhat neurotic tour guide who Munkyung doggedly pursued. This typical late-period Hong setup is enhanced by a back-and-forth flashback structure (recalling the experiments of his earlier works), greater-than-usual levity, and a nearly screwball performance by Moon So-ri (Oasis, A Good Lawyer’s Wife). Continue reading