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 young director Jin-gu, his middle-aged cinema instructor and the woman who loves them both.
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College. Film students. Film professors. Drinking. Bars. Late night meals. Hiking. Love. Kissing. Sex. Irrational behavior. Dating. Relationships. Figuring out life. Constant repetition. Failing. Failing a lot. Hong Sang Soo is the quintessential film maker for people in their 20s, especially me.
I'm not sure the director really wants you to forget that you're watching a movie. The scenes are often staged in an awkward way, and just when you find yourself finally getting engrossed, there's an awkward zoom to take you right out of story.
Hong's gaze is unrelenting, yet ultimately sympathetic. To fail is human, especially under the influence of heavy drinking. The use of zoom to scrutinize is prominent here. "Things repeat themselves with differences I can't understand" may be the most poignant assessment of confused early adulthood I've seen in Hong's oeuvre. The brief scene of Jingu and Oki in Song's classroom is utterly transcendent. Lovely.
a newfound balance between emotional impact and labyrinthine structure.
I think it is his masterpiece, even if an understated one.
obviously he is still telling the same fucking story but so what!? Didn't Cezanne always paint the Sainte Victoire?
Oh, and the last sentence by the voice over of the last film segment is an amazing coup de theatre!