Four new films by Hong Sang-soo, one of New Horizons' favorite directors-Yourself and Yours (2016), On the Beach at Night Alone (2017), The Day After (2017) and Claire's Camera (2017)-all appeared at international festivals in the space of less than a year.
When viewed together, they make up a sort of a mini-series about the emotional ups and downs of several artists-with the art world being the milieu in which the Korean director usually sets his films. If we add the fact that we see the same actors appearing in them, whether it be Min-hee Kim or Hae-hyo Kwon, the impression that what we are watching is a series of episodes from the lives of the same people becomes even more pronounced, although each of the films has a different emotional temperature.
Hong's intimate films have an incredible lightness-he somewhat casually leads us into his world of intricate relationships, complicated interpersonal arrangements, and the subtlest of emotions to paint an expressive portrait of the world of his characters. Coming from the Asian minimalist movement, the director also makes references to European traditions (Yourself and Yours is a variation on the theme of That Obscure Object of Desire, while Claire's Camera, shot in Cannes, stars Isabelle Huppert). All of these films also have their share of alcohol-induced scenes: a drunken quarrel at the table; staggering on the way home; incoherent, alcohol-laced confessions-and no one spares the characters from their moments of embarrassment and shame, thus making them all the more realistic. And if Hong Sang-soo's cinema is autobiographical, it is both tender and merciless in equal measure.
The partner for this section is the Korean Cultural Center in Warsaw.