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821 Ratings


Directed by Lee Chang-dong
South Korea, 2018
Drama, Mystery


Based on the Japanese novel Barn Burning by Haruki Murakami, Burning centers on the mystery surrounding chaebol Ben, delivery man Jong-su and young lady Hae-mi.

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Burning Directed by Lee Chang-dong
Jongsu doesn’t really understand Haemi’s interest in the ‘Great Hunger’, the Kalahari bushmen’s quest for meaning in life, but the way his resentment of Ben’s privilege and confidence evolves into paranoia and rage matches a global, inchoate anger, especially amongst the young.
January 31, 2019
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It’s a highly discomfiting, richly confounding take on the thriller, with wealthy, viciously indifferent maybe-villain Ben (Steven Yeun) as unsatisfying an object of prey as Jeon Jong-soo’s Haemi is as an object of romantic affection.
January 05, 2019
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Lee Chang-dong’s most alluring film depicts a gauzy youthful ardor that foments obsession and imbues an otherwise desultory aspiring writer with a sense of purpose.
January 02, 2019

What are people saying?

  • ara's rating of the film Burning

    out of the murakami film adaptations i have seen, i feel this one has been the best at representing what it feels like to be in that world. i don't understand the comments saying this film was misogynist. i think we did get a very idealized and distant version of hae-mi, that was very much only seen through the lens of the main character, but the film was from his perspective. romanticization =/= misogyny (cont.. )

  • Jason's rating of the film Burning

    Lee asserts that BURNING was born of his concerns regarding the impotent rage of young people, but it is equally about how we are unable to understand one another; it is each of us who are the mystery. Never before have the people this great director situates before our gaze been so obscured by their faces. It is our unknowing that makes localized eruptions of violence, distinguished by futility, so disconcerting.

  • Filipe F. Coutinho's rating of the film Burning

    The film moves at a glacial pace, never underestimating the immersive power of the mundane experience. Lee allows the scenes to float into one another, carrying both the ease and the mystery of an insatiably satisfying page-turner. Burning simmers for most of its running time sustaining the mystery without ever resorting to glitzy camerawork, claustrophobic score or, even, a sense of urgency.

  • Jérémy Poirier's rating of the film Burning

    FNC / Montréal / Entry 2: "Burning" is a film that I am not gonna forget for a long time. An impeccably strange thriller with a fitting and gorgeously slow pace. This film is filled with despair, anger, passion and very deep sorrow. Lee Chang-Dong and his team crafts poetry with every frame, every word and every single breath of its very well acted characters. This film is "burnt" into my subconscious. Masterpiece.

  • Lucas Granero's rating of the film Burning

    Junto con 'An Elephant Sitting Still', esta nueva película de Lee Chang-dong funciona como la más angustiante radiografía de un mundo en llamas. Lejos de la acentuación y el siempre tentador subrayado que tal temática permite, 'Burning' es una película se que agranda en los detalles, en las cosas que los personajes prefieren callar pero cuyo silencio, paradójicamente, termina sientiéndose como un grito desgarrador.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Burning

    In a way, it would be a shame to let any review of Burning say anything about the plot: better to let the viewer start the film, with the camera tailing the main character, and then follow the film wherever it goes in terms of texture, theme, and even genre. This is one of 2018's major films, rich in unsettled mystery but lucid/impassioned/careful in its view of a system that can swallow people up, leaving no trace.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Burning

    TIFF '18 Lee Chang-Dong's latest finds the auteur offering an adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami that impresses with its mix of relationship drama and thriller aspects Casting is wonderful with all three leads impressing especially Jun Jong-seo as Hae-mi. The film's early feel of lightness and hope is infiltrated by a darkness that grows until its bleak conclusion that keeps the viewer riveted.

  • Michael H. CLAES's rating of the film Burning

    The New Wave is reflected in this complicated equation of 2 Men & 1 Woman. As subtle, but much darker than Jules & Jim. Great trio of actors & soundtrack, revamping of Elevator for the scaffold. ===La Nouvelle Vague transparaît dans cette équation compliquée de Deux hommes, Une femme, moins légère & plus sombre que Jules & Jim. Formidable trio d'acteurs & bande son magique, reprise de Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud. 9/10

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