It’s a dream come true to launch a three month long “selectrospective” of one of our favourite filmmakers, and (in)arguably the most prolific too! South Korean master of awkward, tender, melancholy comedies Hong Sang-soo is revered in film festivals but his work remains largely undistributed in our country. Often compared to Éric Rohmer and Woody Allen, his films rely invariably on dialogue and conversation (frequently between characters under the effects of too much soju!) to expose the intricacies of human miscommunication. Standing as playfully complex variations on the same theme––romantic entanglements between men and women––these movies ultimately provide a unique, understated, wryly humorous take on the eternal battle of the sexes. Hong’s predilection for puzzle-like narratives that blur the lines between reality and dreams results in sophisticated yet unaffected storytelling, usually punctuated by his idiosyncratic use of the zoom.
In this series, we are focusing on his most recent works, six films all made in the past five years (!), several of which star South Korean actress and regular collaborator of the filmmaker, Kim Min-hee (The Handmaiden). Kim’s consistent yet shape-shifting presence helps define the season, which even sees her sharing screen time with French icon Isabelle Huppert in the delightful, Cannes-set breezy miniature of a film that is Claire’s Camera. We couldn’t be more proud to make Hong Sang-soo’s little seen, extraordinarily distinctive films widely available to UK audiences!