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 »
"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 »
(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 »
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
Quietly Engaging, An Authentic, Heartfelt Look at Matters of the Heart
It's been a while since I watched the amusingly titled "Woman is the Future of Man" at the Quad. More than a year and 2 Hong Sang-Soo films later it remains among my favorite films.
While it's always refreshing and welcome to see films depart from the pyrotechnics of the Hollywood school of film-making, some films' subtlety and quietness are rather oppressive (Tsai Ming-Liang immediately comes to mind). I think I have a longer attention span than the average film-goer, however, I have to admit that I can't sit through all kinds of slow films. Some are worth the challenge, others end up embodying the stereotype of the inaccessible art film. Hong's film would've looked like art house snobbery in action if not for the fact that it's made in a very straightforward manner focusing mainly on the most basic of emotions (and the complicated situations emanating from them). The style of film-making is so cinema verite, so unobtrusive, it's a joy to go beyond being a member of the audience and feel like an actual passerby. The best, most memorable celluloid stories stay in your mind as films but "Woman" is a story so well-told it feels more like snippets from somebody's life told by a close friend.
Hong Sang-soo's "Woman is the Future of Man" is yet another great addition to the impressive national cinema of South Korea and one that pushes me to continue exploring more of this body of work. It's raw, naked jealousy, regret, love, lust, and longing. It's a bittersweet reminder for anyone who's ever experienced romantic love and its many variations and deviations. This is it how it happens and somehow Mr. Hong has captured it through the magic of cinema.
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