The owner of this cafe in a traditional district of Seoul is never shown. But we do discover he likes classical music. To the sound of Franz Schubert, Richard Wagner, or Jacques Offenbach, Hong Sangsoo offers another variation on the recurring motif of all his films – when happens when men and women meet.
A young woman accuses a young man of being responsible for her girlfriend’s suicide. A little later, she pays him a compliment. He stares at the floor, embarrassed. In the middle of the conversation, there’s a whip-pan on to the neighbouring table where a woman is sitting at her laptop. She overhears snatches of dialogue and develops them further. Is she the author of the subsequent relationship portraits in miniature whose stories and themes mirror one other? At times, she gets involved in the plot; at others, characters seek her advice. In this Hong Sangsoo film too, soju, Korean schnapps, is served at the table. At this moment, the camera pans out, capturing a young couple in traditional costume, taking photos of each other. Resignation or a new beginning? In the games that play out between the sexes, perhaps you must sometimes look back before you can move forward.
Republic of Korea 2018
66’ · Black/White
Kim Minhee (Areum)Jung Jinyoung (Kyungsoo)Ki Joobong (Changsoo)Seo Younghwa (Sunghwa)Kim Saebyuk (Jiyoung)Ahn Jaehong (Hongsoo)Gong Minjeung (Mina)
Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1960, he studied at the Chung-Ang University in his native city as well as at the California College of Arts and Crafts and at the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1996, he has written and directed 23 films, three of which have already featured in the Berlinale Competition, most recently On the Beach at Night Alone in 2017.Filmography (selection)
1996 Daijiga umule pajinnal (The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well); 115 min., Forum 1997 · Daijiga umule pajinnal (The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well) 1998 Kangwon-do ui him (The Power of Kangwon Province) · Kangwon-do ui him (The Power of Kangwon Province); 108 min. 2000 Oh soo-jung (Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors) · Oh Soo-jung (Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors); 126 min. 2002 Saenghwalui balgyeon (Turning Gate); 115 min. · Saenghwalui balgyeon (Turning Gate) 2004 Yeojaneun namjaui miraeda (Woman Is the Future of Man) · Yeojaneun namjaui miraeda (Woman is the Future of Man); 87 min. 2005 Geuk jang jeon (A Tale of Cinema) · Geuk jang jeon (A Tale of Cinema); 89 min. 2006 Haebyuneui Yeoin (Woman on the Beach); 127 min., Panorama 2007 · Haebyuneui Yeoin (Woman on the Beach) 2008 Bam gua Nat (Night and Day); 145 Min., Competition 2008 · Bam gua nat (Night and Day) 2009 Jal al-ji-do mot-ha-myeon-seo (Like You Know It All) · Jal al-ji-do mot-ha-myeon-seo (Like You Know It All); 126 min. 2010 Hahaha · Hahaha; 116 min. · Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie); 80 min. · Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie) 2011 Book-chon-bang-hyang (The Day He Arrives) · Book-chon-bang-hyang (The Day He Arrives); 79 min. 2012 Da-reun na-ra-e-seo (In Another Country) · Da-reun na-ra-e-seo (In Another Country); 89 min. 2013 Nugu-ui ttal-do anin haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon) · Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody's Daughter Haewon); 90 min., Competition 2013 · U ri Sunhi (Our Sunhi); 88 min. · U ri sunhi (Our Sunhi) 2014 Jayueui onduk (Hill of Freedom) · Jayueui onduk (Hill of Freedom); 67 min. 2015 Jigeumeun matgo geuttaeneun teullida (Right Now, Wrong Then) · Jigeumeun matgo geuttaeneun teullida (Right Now, Wrong Then); 121 min. 2016 Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot (Yourself and Yours) · Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot (Yourself and Yours); 86 min. 2017 Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (On the Beach at Night Alone); 101 min., Competition 2017 · Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (On the Beach at Night Alone) · Keul-le-eo-ui ka-me-la (Claire’s Camera) · Keul-le-eo-ui ka-me-la (Claire’s Camera); 69 min. · Geu-hu (The Day After) · Geu-hu (The Day After); 92 min. 2018 Grass · Grass 2019 Hotel by the River · Domangchin yeoja (The Woman Who Ran)
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020
Jeonwonsa Film Co.