The shock on Yoo's face when the photos are taken, characters constantly returning to drink whiskey at a bar called "Novel", the cell phone as synecdoche, the fights, the abrupt change of seasons—they all make this a delicious, head-spinning affair. This is surely upper-tier Hong. The black and white cinematography emphasizes the surroundings but the zooms bring things right back to the characters.
Having mastered the art of self-deprecation, Hong shows us so much about the self-styled "artist" and the attention afforded them. He seems to think that everyday insight is a tool of the regularly deluded, which is only at ends with how much his films bristle with intelligent observation. Even if these events were real and inspired the film, we'd have to agree the pettiness might just be poetry in itself.
Another film full of good moments but unable to work as a whole. Some character interactions, especially the romantic ones, are both powerful and real. But overall I feel it's lazy that the movie unfolds in such a weird way with no interior logic. It's just convenient for the filmmaker to explore what he wants to. Unless I am missing some meaning that connects to his body of work, however it doesn't stand alone well.
I wasn't certain what to make of this at first -- amateur camera work, empty dialogue. By the conclusion, I thought this was an existential classic, a story of a former director stuck in an endless rut with repetitive dialogue and scenes circling back onto each other. While others seem to break free, he can't find the strength to surpass his limits and find love or creativity. Oddly affecting.
Beautifully poetic, yet so utterly simplistic, Hong Sang-Soo's "The Day He Arrives" feels like perfect minimalist storytelling. The characters feel so natural, their conversations realistic, their actions so everyday and mundane, and you can't look away. The gorgeous black and white cinematography only increases the pleasure. I very much look forward to more from this director, as this was my first.
I enjoyed the film for the playfulness in the conversational scenes and the filming style that is reminiscent of the French Wave films, notably Jean Luc Godard. But I felt there wasn't much interest in the story in general as it felt restrained and conventional by the dating scene aspect of the film.
Reminded me of a French film in many ways. I really appreciate the black white photography and dreamy repetition. The off-beat comedy only adds to the film's aesthetic quality. I was thrown off by the moments of dialogue when the camera would zoom in dramatically; it felt like one of those scenes from a cop drama on TV when they're scoping out a potential suspect from a distance.
I've seen this film before. I remember that scene where they try to cross the street in the snow, except they are pretty drunk. I also remember all those weird zooms. People are talking, and then the camera will zoom in. Not like those Italian films where they zoom in before a big emotional outburst. This seemed more random. Like he's telling you where to focus at this point in the conversation.