Kim Minhee sits on the floor with a Persian cat and both are reflected in a mirroralr

In Our Day
(Uriui haru)

Sneak Preview Screening
Directed by Hong Sangsoo.
With Gi Jubong, Kim Minhee.
South Korea, 2023, DCP, color, 84 min.
English and Korean with English subtitles.
DCP source: Cinema Guild

In Hong Sangsoo’s thirtieth feature, the director’s proclivity for repetition and sly narrative contrivance is streamlined into parallel storylines with self-reflexive overtones. Nimbly moving between its two threads and separated by humorously scene-setting intertitles, the film unfolds like a novella as it tells the seemingly unrelated stories of, respectively, a disenchanted former actress (Kim Minhee) who’s returned to Seoul to decompress at a friend’s (Song Sunmi) apartment, and an alcoholic poet (Ki Joobong) visited in his home by a student filmmaker (Kim Seungyun) working on a short documentary about the middle-aged artist. In each, a third party—a cousin (Park Miso) of the actress in the first scenario; a young admirer (Ha Seongguk) of the poet in the second—soon arrives to disrupt the dynamic, prompting existential and artistic musings between the characters that echo across the plot divide. As in many Hong films, similar themes arise in both strands, as do specific details, such as pet cats, estranged loved ones, and bowls of ramen noodles spiced with pepper paste. Here, though, the motifs relate loosely, rather than with strict cohesion. In this way, the film is more suggestively structured than many of Hong’s more openly conceptual works, relying on association and symbolic resonance rather than the kind of iterative logic or regenerative synergies that typically resolve (or at least work to explain) the director’s idiosyncratically shaped narratives. With In Our Day, Hong continues to forge a roundabout path through his career-long obsessions, finding fertile new ground through the smallest of gestures and the slightest of variations.

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Part of film series

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This Is Us. Two Films by Hong Sangsoo

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Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 2024 McMillan-Stewart Fellow

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