Sungjoon heads to Seoul to meet a close friend who lives in the Bukchon area. When the friend doesn’t answer his calls, Sungjoon wanders around Bukchon and runs into an actress he used to know. The two talk for a while, but soon part. He makes his way down to Insadong and drinks makgeolli (rice wine) by himself. Some film students at another table ask him to join them—Sungjoon used to be a film director. He soon gets drunk and heads for his ex-girlfriend’s house.
Whether it’s the next day or some other day, but Sungjoon is still wandering around Bukchon. He runs into the actress again. They talk and soon part. He eventually meets his friend and they head to a bar called Novel with a female professor his friend knows. The owner of the bar has a striking resemblance to Sungjoon’s ex-girlfriend. He plays the piano for her.
Whether it’s the next day or some other day, Sungjoon goes to the Jeongdok Public Library with his friend and mentions that it was the first place he chased after a woman. Later, they have drinks with a former actor who had been doing business in Vietnam. The same female professor joins them and the four go to the bar called Novel. Sungjoon gets drunk and ends up kissing the owner of the pub…
Sungjoon may have spent a few days in Seoul with his friend, or it may still be his first day there. He may have learned something from the encounter with his ex-girlfriend, or may have to meet the woman that resembles her again, for the first time. As life presents itself in no more than today’s worth of time, Sungjoon also has no other choice than to face his “today”. –Cannes Film Festival
A regular on the international festival circuit, Hong Sang-soo is one of Korea’s most highly regarded contemporary directors. His mostly improvised, innovatively constructed films conceal rich layers of meaning beneath deceptively simple surfaces, and reveal a filmmaker with a unique, individual style. A rather notorious figure on the Seoul film scene, Hong has a fondness for alcohol that is almost as legendary as his talent for filmmaking. He’s been known to get familiar with his actors before shooting by taking them on drinking binges, and, for verisimilitude, the many drinking scenes in his films normally include actually drunk performers (who sometimes don’t remember these scenes after they’ve been shot).
Born in 1960, Hong began his film studies at Joongang University in Korea, then moved to the United States, where he received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His debut feature, The Day a… read more
Really loved this one. At times it felt like I was watching an Eric Rohmer. Philosophical conversations mixed with Hong's amazing humor made it a very reflective and enjoyable watch.
Anti-Aristotelic thinking. There's no "at the beginning, in the middle, at the end". So different from the mainstream. Personally I didn't like it. But I saw it only once. Maybe next time. Photography is nothing special, even if it's black and white, seems more a video than a film. The only thing I keep is the zooming technique. In every school they tell it's no good. But who cares!
At the cutting edge of anachronistic technology.
The various international posters for Hong Sang-soo’s film, and an update on the career of everybody’s favorite singing lifeguard.
On the repetition-obsessed filmmaker’s wonky sense of space.
Oki’s Movie runs all week and The Day He Arrives opens on Friday.
As I’ve mentioned before, movie posters are not much in evidence around the theaters of Cannes. One striking exception though was this
High time to round up the films at this year's Cannes Film Festival that never saw entries of their own and send them on their way. Today
Films by Lars von Trier and Hong Sang-soo.