Korean maestro and Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (Right Now, Wrong Then) embarks on an intriguing foray into the uncanny with this ingenious spin on Luis Buñuel's final masterpiece That Obscure Object of Desire.
I dragged myself to see a film about someone I knew nothing about - except from a line in a Simon and Garfunkel song - and the odd mention from friends years ago - assuming it could easily be a scriptwriters fantasy world - but at least a costume drama outlining the person, her surroundings and time.
It was in fact very moving - drawing you into a the completely unknown mind of this women and the people around her - no one left the cinema immediately but just stayed and stared - were they as upset as I was ?
It was all the more interesting coming one day after a very interesting documentary of the journey of the Mayflower migrants from 1608 when they fled to Holland for a new life and then to a ship in 1620 to cross the Atlantic so their children would still be English and not Dutch puritans - the documentary forces you to step into the minds and motives of these people, who should have perished but managed to survive due to a powerful faith - which appears just nonsense to me - but it does come from the times - the evolution of human consciousness.
Emily Dickinson is there 200 years after - still in a fossilized society - soon to be taken over by Irish Catholicism in Boston - in a style reminiscent of a theater play of the day - at first too witty and full of riposte, but which slowly takes hold of you.
The actors are all good, but the driving force is the question of what it was like to be a woman in this time - what did they actually think and do - why did Emily and her sister not marry but stay at home - was the world outside, and the society of men, so cold, foreign and formal that they stayed where they were sure there was warmth.
A good film if you want to realize you don't really understand how other people see the world - and to be moved by the fact they simply exist and feel, and are then snuffed out like a candle flame.
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