Long admired in France and with numerous devotees on the festival circuit, Korean writer-director Hong Sang-Soo has reached this, his fourteenth feature, before making it into UK cinemas. It’s a decent place to start, if not perhaps the pinnacle of his achievement. The story of a headstrong student trying to make sense of her on-off relationship with her film-school professor, it’s couched in a lackadaisical storytelling style which masks an underlying fascination with the moral whys and wherefores of Korean society.
While the catalogue of emotional misreadings and drink-fuelled embarrassment are almost the stuff of romcom, Hong’s tale snakes hither and thither blithely ignoring the usual formulae, even if its tension between appealing heroine Jong Eun-Chae’s possibly foolhardy honesty and her shambling lover’s deceitful pragmatism proves more fascinating than compelling. Characteristic structural playfulness adds layers of ambiguity to ponder on the way home, making this one a bit of a grower, though it loses a star for prominently featuring a pop version of Beethoven’s Seventh that’s truly hideous on the ear.
|Release date:||Friday October 11 2013|
Cast and crew