In Seoul, the paths of two men and one woman intersect and move apart from one another, centering around their love for cinema. A suicidal student meets a young woman who decides to follow ... See full summary »
Actor Kyung Soo leaves Seoul to visit an old classmate. The reunion with his friend does not amount to much, but the trip does lead to some romantic encounters. He gets involved with two ... See full summary »
(Korean with English subtitles) Helmed by one of Korea's leading directors, Hong Sang-soo, Jisook joins two of her girlfriends for a holiday in Korea's Kangwon Province. But in an eerie ... See full summary »
"Night and Day" is centered around the mixed emotions found in traveling. Characters in the film are Sung-nam Kim, an artist selected by the Korean government that escaped from Seoul and ... See full summary »
Kwon returns to Seoul from the mountains and is given a packet of letters from Mori back from Japan to propose to her. Kwon drops and scatters the undated letters. She reads them and has to make sense of the chronology - and so must we?
On a very cold winter morning, two friends meet after many years. Hun-joon who has just got back from USA after his film studies and Mun-ho, a part time lecturer at a university, reminisce over the past, drinking in a Chinese restaurant. Hours of drinking and talks, mixed with the recollections of the past bring them back the memory of a woman. A woman they both were romancing during the same period of time. After wandering in their own version of reminiscence, they decided to find and meet her, who turns out to be running a hotel lobby bar in Puchon, a satellite city near Seoul. The woman, Sun-hwa, without showing much emotion upon their appearance, asks them to wait in front of her apartment. When she returns, they begin a decadent drinking party till the daybreak.Written by
"Woman Is the Future of Man (Yeojaneun namjaui miraeda)" feels like a cheerless Korean spin on "Jules et Jim" crossed with the chauvinism of "Carnal Knowledge".
From the discussion in the ladies room after wards, people in the audience weren't falling asleep trying to follow the flash backs vs. dreams vs. fantasies vs. flash forwards vs. the narrative of an obsessive threesome of old friends as much as frustration with the women characters. Either the females were fulfilling every racist stereotype Americans have of "Oriental" women, as seductive passive doormats, or the film is one long drunken male fantasy. The women only got to even show emotions a handful of times.
Occasionally the two guy friends weepily confess, through their nonstop talking and drinking reunion, their faults with mea culpas and various self-flagellations about wanting sex "too much", and even admitting that they've mistreated the women they stalk --but that doesn't stop their boorish, insensitive --and worse-- behavior.
It is also possible that a lot of the Korean cultural reference points were lost in the subtitle translations. There seems, for example, to be a familiar form of address in Korean as there is in many non-English languages that was clumsily handled in the translation when women despair of being addressed that way by their lovers.
Whatever theme writer/director Sang-soo Hong intended to portray about the role of Eros amidst a non-purifying snowy night in the city, all that comes across is that men are schmucks and they deserve what they get.
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