Two by Hong Sangsoo

One of the luminary figures of contemporary South Korean cinema, Hong Sangsoo (b. 1960) has flourished working within a mode of low budget independent art cinema ideally suited for the playfully modernist comedies of clumsy love and bad manners that have become his lasting signature. Impressively prolific, in 2011-12 Hong directed two richly complementary major works almost back to back, The Day He Arrives and In Another Country. Artfully structured tales of chance encounters and errant love, both use musical patterns of repetition and difference to give multiple and at times contradictory meanings to the awkward coincidence that is an engine of the low-key comedy shared by the two films. At the same time these films also offer subtle meditations on the cinema as an art of conjuring those eccentric, unpolished narratives deeply rooted in the imagination of both the audience and the stumbling filmmaker characters at the heart of each film. — Haden Guest

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