Sang-soo Hong

Sang-soo Hong – Dangsin-eolgul-apeseo AKA In Front of Your Face (2021) (HD)

She manages her daily life with a sense of mindfulness while keeping a grave secret to herself, and she decides to meet with a younger director who asked her to join his project, and after they meet there is sudden rainfall and thunder. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Dangsin-eolgul-apeseo AKA In Front of Your Face (2021)

After years of living abroad, a middle-aged former actress (Lee Hye-young) has returned to South Korea to reconnect with her past and perhaps make amends. Over the course of one day in Seoul, via various encounters—including with her younger sister; a shopkeeper who lives in her converted childhood home; and, finally, a well-known film director with whom she would like to make a comeback—we discover her resentments and regrets, her financial difficulties, and the big secret that’s keeping her aloof from the world. Both beguiling and oddly cleansing in its mix of the spiritual and the cynical, In Front of Your Face finds the endlessly prolific Hong Sang-soo in a particularly contemplative mood; it’s a film that somehow finds that life is at once full of grace and a sick joke. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Inteurodeoksyeon AKA Introduction (2021)

Youngho is summoned by his father, who is a doctor. Finding him busy with his patients, one of whom is a famous actor, Youngho has to wait. When his girlfriend Juwon moves to Berlin for her studies, Youngho shows up in the city to surprise her. Through her mother, Juwon has found accommodation at the home of an artist whose beauty intimidates her. Some time later, Youngho goes to lunch with his mother who wants to introduce him to a colleague – it is the same man Youngho met at his father’s clinic. Youngho asks his friend Jeongsoo to accompany him, and after lunch they go to the beach. Youngho falls asleep, and dreams of Juwon. When he wakes up, he braves the considerable cold and goes swimming, while Jeongsoo watches. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Book chon bang hyang AKA The Day He Arrives (2011)

Shot in murky black and white, Hong’s film traverses an open-air spectrum of repeating nuances, locations, and dialogue in charming ways. The small groups of characters, including mildly famous film director Sungjoon (Yu Jun-sang), who’s visiting an old friend in Seoul, graze on the coincidences and human fallibilities defining their overlapping mental quirks. Together, they’re like lost sheep roaming the urban academic landscape for a shepherd. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Geuk jang jeon AKA Tale of Cinema (2005)

In Seoul, the paths of two men and one woman intersect and move apart from one another, centering around their love for cinema. A suicidal student meets a young woman who decides to follow him in his fatal gesture. Coming out of a cinema, Tongsu, an unsuccessful filmmaker, spots a beautiful young woman, and recognizes her : she is the main actress in the film he has just seen. The life of this wavering and distressed young man strangely echoes the one of the young man from the beginning… Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Haebyeonui yeoin AKA Woman on the Beach (2006)

Film director, Joong-rae is preparing for his next movie but is unable to finish his script. So he pleads his friend, Chang-wook, a production designer, to go with him on a trip. Chang-wook brings his girlfriend Moon-sook along and they all go on a trip to the west coast to visit Shinduri Beach Resort. There, Joong-rae makes advances on Moon-sook. Already a fan of his films, Moon-sook doesn’t hide her interest. So later, while avoiding Chang-wook’s eyes, the two spend a heated night together. But the next day He and Moon-sook then part awkwardly. Few days later, Joong-rae is back again in Shinduri and runs into a young woman named Sun-hee. They end up spending a night together. Moon-sook arrives at the scene with the intent to be with Joong-rae. But seeing him being with Sun-hee, Moon-sook goes to drink on her own out of anger… Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Saenghwalui balgyeon aka Turning Gate (2002)

Hong San-soo’s comic rendezvous Turning Gate is built on a series of repetitions that mirror the South Korean director’s fascination with reincarnation. Out-of-work actor Gyung-soo (Kim Sang-kyung) leaves Seoul to visit his friend Seong-wu (Kim Hak-sun) in the country, and it is there that Gyung-soo learns of the Turning Gate myth: A young princess scorns the love of a snake, the reincarnation of a commoner killed by her father. Oblivious to Seong-wu’s affections for Myung-sook (Yeh Ji-won), the indecisive Gyung-soo embarks on a heated affair with the sexy dancer, and when he rejects her love, the actor unknowingly begins to live out the legend of the Turning Gate. Haunted by regret, he wraps himself around a married woman, Sun-young (Chu Sang-mi), familiar with his stage performances. Hong San-soo’s use of repetition (not one but two kisses to break the ice; the regurgitation of dime-store mantra; and Myung-sook’s various dances that end on the same beat) evokes a karmic connection between a secular world and a bygone spiritual one. Read More »