Daily Archives

October 18, 2018

by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

Woman Is the Future of Man | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Woman Is

The first striking thing about 2006’s Woman Is the Future of Man is its blunt exhibition of various cruel and brutal sexual behaviors, which range from more typical, regretful encounters to acts which can be described as criminal. Though Hong isn’t often thought of as a shock-effect arthouse director — anymore — there was a time when his unstylish presentation of sex acts could really provoke and disturb. In particular, the rape of Park Seon-hwa (Sung Hyun-ah)…

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by Chengzhi Jin Retrospective

Tale of Cinema | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Tale of CInema

In 2005’s Tale of Cinema, as in most of Hong Sang-soo’s works, structure is part of the story. The film is split into two halves, the first of which comprises a short film by a director that people keep mentioning (but whom we don’t really have the chance to meet until part two). ‘Film-world’ and diegetic reality intertwine in Tale of Cinema through many shared elements — but especially with the presence of actress Choi Young-Shil (Uhm Ji-won).…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Turning Gate

In Hong Sang-soo’s 2002 film On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate, a young actor, Gyung-soo (Kim Sang-kyung), goes on vacation to visit an old friend; he hangs out and drinks with his buddy and the two take a ferry trip to, but do not actually visit, the Turning Gate. The friends meet a pretty dance instructor, Myung-sook (Ye Ji-won), whom Gyung-soo hooks-up with, but refuses to say he loves, and things end badly — especially once he realizes that his…

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by Justin Stewart Retrospective

Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Virgin Strip

“I should correct something if it’s wrong,” says Soo-jung (Lee Eun-ju), the titular virgin of 2000’s Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, to her smothering art dealer suitor, Jae-hoon (Jeong Bo-seok). She refers only to her own improper chopstick technique, which Jae-hoon was so kind to point out to her, but the line also well sums-up the primary gambit of Hong Sang-soo’s third film — which tells the same story twice, first from a male perspective, and then from Soo-jung’s…

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by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

The Power of Kangwon Province | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Power Kang

Two strong, entirely unrelated stories are told in 1998’s The Power of Kangwon Province — and Hong Sang-soo resorts to employing a third narrative to stitch them together, to ambivalent effect. The first part of the film follows a group of recent graduates to the vacation locale of Kangwon, and is of particular interest for the way Hong’s camera registers actress Oh Yun-hong’s tiny physique in contrast with her surprising emotional volatility.…

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by Paul Attard Retrospective

The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Day Pig

A retrospective look at the first feature by any major auteur tends to bring-out some desire for a grand analysis of their work — and often, looking at the beginnings of a certain style and how it’s been refined over time can be of more interest than assessing the quality of said film itself. With 1996’s The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, Hong Sang-soo is not yet employing his signature, intuitive zooms, but he is dealing with what…

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