Korean director Hong Sang-soo has carved a out a niche for himself with his tongue-in-cheek comedies of sexual maneuvering (Woman on the Beach
, Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors
), though this 2011 feature, shot in black and white, seems like a trifle compared to his best work. As in other of his movies, the protagonist is an unhappy film director, orbited by fresh and lovely young women, whose morose self-absorption generally undercuts his attempts to exploit the aphrodisiacal power of his job. Hong varies the formula here with a bit of Fellini-esque navel gazing, as the narrative loops back around on itself and scenes are restaged with notable variations. But the listless execution may remind you less of 8 1/2
than of Woody Allen's whiny Stardust Memories
. In Korean with subtitles.
See our full review:
The South Korean writer-director is a stalwart of contemporary cinema—and even an SAIC grad. But you still won't find his work on local movie screens.