Hong Sang-Soo won the Vancouver International Film Festival's Dragon & Tiger Award with his 1996 debut work "The Day a Pig Fell into the Wall". The previous year, the winner of the same award at the same festival was Hirokazu Koreeda’s " Phantom light". In 2009, he made his debut in long movies with "Whirlwind", and Jang Kun-jae won the same award. In the "A Midsummer’s Fantasia"(2014) set in Nara, the Busan International Film Festival Director's Union Awards and many other awards were awarded. He is called the second Hong Sang-Soo, and Korea's Hirokazu Koreeda, and tells us the charm of the works of Hong Sang-Soo .
"On the Beach at Night Alone"
I have watched everything directed by Hong Sang-Soo, from his debut work to "Claire’s Camera" and "And Then." The first movie I saw was "The Day a Pig Fell into the Wall," and I received a completely different impression from other Korean movies. If the second modern cinema exists in South Korea, I would say that it began with Hong Sang-Soo.
At the time I was still a student, so I watched the initial works simply to learn movies. Director Hong Sang-Soo started the production and came to concurrently produce and direct in "Tale of Cinema" (2005) and later works, which I started to appreciate from the standpoint of making movies. Since the movies had been made in the industrial system, both public and propaganda were large-scale. After the establishment of the production, he has been making more works with stronger artistic nature. I was also very surprised at the work "The Day He Arrives", and "Oki’s Movie".
From "Right Now, Wrong Then" in 2015, he began to collaborate with Ms. Kim Min-hee. I got the impression that he made a different movie. Should you say that he is more actively communicating your own stories and messages? If the works by then were like an impressionist painter, and the impression that the director felt was spun in the form of free associative method, from "Right Now, Wrong Then" it is more abstract and more messageable and clearer.
With "Right Now, Wrong Then", the movie director encounters a female painter and falls in love. The man is married, falls in love with a single woman, and regrets that he is married, as many are in Hong Sang-Soo 's film. Although it can be similar to his previous works, the movie became more elegant. Especially, I felt so in the ending, that if the works so far were bringing a failure or setback to the male hero, and "Right Now, Wrong Then" had a slightly different view and romantic feeling. It seems the director and Kim Min-hee's chemistry were there.
Although Kim Min-hee had been a beautiful actress for a long time, she appeared as a particularly attractive and beautiful person in the direction of Hong Sang-Soo. I would like to see her acting in various works, but now I feel sorry because she does not work only with director Hong Sang-Soo. Still I can fully understand why she made that choice.
In "On the Beach at Night Alone," Kim Min-hee acts as an actress in an affair with the film director. Since it was released after the discovery of the scandal with Hong Sang-Soo, it gathered a lot of public attention. I had the impression that it was quite a brave movie. "And Then" has an impression like a story after from the title. It feels like she’s looking back on finished love affair. The work and private should be considered separately, but I just keep wondering "What happened to the relationship between the two?
I was very happy because Kim Sae-Pyeok of "A Midsummer’s Fantasia" that I directed appeared in "And Then." Although it is not yet open to the public, she also appears in the film called "Grass" directed by Hong Sang-Soo. Since I was telling Mr. Kim Sae-Pyeok, that "It would be nice you act in Hong Sang-Soo's movie", I was very happy to actually see him in the movie. It should have been a difficult acting, but it was a wonderful accomplishment.
"Claire's camera" is a story of a movie director and a young woman invited to the Cannes Film Festival. I heard that it was taken during the period of Cannes International Film Festival 2016. From "Right Now, Wrong Then", a different person, time and place appear for each of the four works. A single woman who falls in love with a married film director or a middle-aged male, events occurring in the process, life and death - if these problems were handled with a more animal sense in the previous works, I received the impression that these stories have something like conceptual thoughts.
Hong Sang-Soo is one of the directors with the best dialogues in South Korea. He works with wonderful actors who can play the lines successfully. When the actor appeared in another work, you can compare the actor’s shining acting in Hong Sang-Soo's work. I think he is good at drawing out the charm of an actor so much. Instead of using fancy costumes or lighting, he shoots with minimal equipment, so it's probably the environment suitable for acting as a good faith as an actor. However, it doesn’t mean if you shoot in such an environment anyone can create a good movie. I think it is an aesthetic product born from a style unique to Hong Sang-Soo. Again, I am learning a lot from such style.
Written by：Reiko Fujita(藤田麗子)
Director /Screenplay: Hong Sang-Soo
Cast: Kwon Hee-hyo / Kim Min-hee / Kim Sae-Pyeok
Human Trust Cinema Yurakucho, Human Trust Cinema Shibuya and other nationwide sequential road show
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"Right Now, Wrong Then" Review
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A PEOPLE 6 weeks in a row Continuous project <Maybe New Hong Sang-Soo> Week 2
"On the Beach at Night Alone" Review