by Sean Gilman

#StreamingScene by Sean Gilman Film

Little Forest | Yim Soon-rye

December 3, 2018
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A young woman, fed up with her life of toil and failed romance in the big city, returns to her family’s small farm in the countryside to spend a year rebuilding her psyche in Little Forest, a small gem of a film. South Korean director Yim Soon-rye’s adaption of Daisuke Igarashi 2002 manga — which had previously been adapted as a four-hour, two-part…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Claire’s Camera | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Of the three films Hong Sang-soo made in 2017, with actress and romantic partner Kim Min-hee, two were released in the U.S. in the spring of 2018 — shortly after his latest film, Grass (which also stars Kim), premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. As always, the hyper-productive Hong outpaces the capabilities of the international arthouse distribution system. But Claire’s Camera was made in a rush, even by Hong’s standards: Shot over a few days at the 2016 Cannes Film…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Our Sunhi | Hong Sang-soo

October 25, 2018
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Our Sunhi is the culmination of a cycle of Hong Sang-soo films, each starring actress Jung Yoomi, about aspiring women filmmaker with a weakness for strong drinks and a tendency to find themselves in the middle of love triangles between older and younger men. All the men enamored with the characters Jung Yoomi plays all seem unable to see her characters as people, blinded as they are by their own perceptions of her beauty, her innocence, her artistic taste, etc.…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Oki’s Movie | Hong Sang-soo

October 25, 2018
Oki's Movie

“Things repeat themselves with differences I can’t understand,” proclaims Oki (Jung Yu-mi), the director of the fourth, and final, film-within-the-film that comprises Hong Sang-soo’s 2012 feature Oki’s Movie. She has attempted to compare and contrast two relationships that she had — one with a professor (Mun Seong-kun), one with a fellow student (Lee Seon-gyun) — by casting actors who look similar to the men that she knew, and then following them on separate dates…

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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 Sean Gilman Retrospective

Love Exposure | Sion Sono

August 22, 2016
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Sion Sono’s Love Exposure is an epic, four-hour romantic comedy about terrible fathers, upskirt photography, Catholicism, and the meaning of love. Where Sono’s Bicycle Sighs could be categorized as a fairly typical minimalist art film, and his Suicide Club firmly entrenched itself in the millennial wave of Japanese horror, Love Exposure is much less easy to peg—a wholly original pop construct springing forth from its auteur’s cracked heart. If the film has a stylistic precursor at all, it’s the freewheeling exuberance of ’70s exploitation cinema: the…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Suicide Club | Sion Sono

August 15, 2016
Suicide Club

Suicide Club opens with a montage of the city at night: documentary realist footage of pedestrians moving through Tokyo, on and off of trains and through stations, is scored to a peppy martial beat. Then, in a dreadful instant, the familiar tropes of the city symphony turn to horror as 54 teenaged girls leap, in unison, from a subway platform and in front of an on-coming train—leading to a cataclysm of squished heads and blood-spray. This is how Sion Sono begins his…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Bicycle Sighs | Sion Sono

August 8, 2016
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Sion Sono’s 1990 debut feature is a coming-of-age story heavily influenced by the then-fashionable minimalist style, but with a few of its own distinctive quirks. Sono himself plays Shiro, one of three friends who hang around, deliver newspapers, and study for their college entrance exams. Shiro’s best friend, Keita (Masahiro Sugiyama), is under pressure from his family to become a doctor and pines for an old girlfriend (Hiroko Yamamoto). Shiro is ambivalent about college; he just wants Keita to help him finish…

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