Acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo goes abroad to make this film about a Korean man escaping a jail sentence by flying to Paris, where he tries to think of his wife as he falls in love with other girls and Paris itself.
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Here, Sung-nam is deeply and profoundly lost. Hong's clear and consistent gaze only intensifies our scrutiny as he engages in a series of stunted relationships, full of false assurance and empty words. His baser fantasies are documented in dream sequences while his actual misdeeds are implied in ellipsis. What emerges is a beautifully rendered yet mildly off-putting portrait of male narcissism.
A dream is a point of view you can see all the complexities of life collapse around an ordinary person a fool who gives up his inventions his love his life that to pick up another he would have claimed that the one he has now is false life in a charmed circle an elaborate mirror of clumsy bourgeoisie where everyone is bourgeoisie; overrun by jealousy and emotional expense instead of pressing human affairs.
I couldn't stop watching this, even as it slowly and awkwardly meandered its way in and around Paris, then back to Korea. You have to admire Hong's patience with his characters, no matter how absurdly juvenile they may be. The payoff is painfully funny. At one point, I thought I saw Rohmer's spirit peaking through the clouds.
This may be the funniest film of the last decade. And not only that, but Hong is developing his own trademark camera work, one that is as distinct, albeit much more restrained, as that of Fassbinder. Hong is only one of a handful directors working today who has not yet made a single bad film.
Another Hong Sang-Soo masterpiece and a film that only he could make. Night and Day is a film of deep, complex, and adult emotions and situations; a film where the protagonist is left stranded in a foreign world and left to fend for himself; or so it seems until the film's tumultuous and perplexing ending that is straight up Bunuel-esque. Just brilliant.
"I want to sleep with you, you little brat!" This could be a Woody Allen movie with the way it's put together, not to mention the older man/younger woman scenario. I wish he would stop with his eccentric camera moves. Hate the mini-zoom. The pan-away was a little more effective, but both techniques remove you from the story.