Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Festivales de Buenos Aires Agenda Cultural de Buenos Aires

Like You Know It All

april 13
sold out

Cine Cosmos - UBA


Film information

Director ← [ + info ]

Hong SangSoo

Once a part of the new wave of Korean filmmakers and currently a huge and emotional name in cinema, he described the work process he developed ever since his debut film The Day a Pig Fell into a Well (of 1996, a title he delicately stole from John Cheever) to his recent Nobody’s Daughter Haewon the following way: “I start with a very ordinary, banal situation, and this situation usually has something in it that makes me feel strongly. It’s a stereotypical feeling, but very strong. I have this desire to look at it... Perhaps it’s a blind feeling. I put it on the table, and I look at it. I open up, and these pieces surface. They are not related, they conflict with each other. But I try to find a pattern that makes all these pieces fit into one. That’s what I do”.

That’s exactly what Hong does. But in time, after his establishing run through Cannes and fourteen feature-length films (all of them screened in Bafici except for Woman Is the Future of Man, a proof of how often Hong makes films) his cinema is still imbued with that spirit that looks natural and is actually made of a series of really complex structures. These words, which are sometimes drunken (few filmmakers have such a deep trust in alcohol and its cunning intensities), and smoked (Hong has turned smoking into a dry and vital physical reflection in his films) have the precision and charming instability Eric Rohmer’s cinema used to have. His filmmakers, his list-making girls, his love triangles, his disenchanted lovers, his lost, overwhelmed characters, they all come and go. They’re human, but also extremely cinematographically –their greatest trick is turning reality into something playful, ghostly realistic, when is actually a pure comic and demolishing construction of people’s senseless wandering and crossings. They come and go through smoker’s bars, coastal cities, film festivals, trivial apartments, and dry streets, but they keep their personalities. And everyone, both humans and landscapes, acquire a beauty that goes beyond its mere presentation. They become beautiful in the repetition, in being the perfect black box for Hong’s (super) human-scaled tragic comedy.

With his precise, almost microscopic quality, Hong has been able to create an imaginary that is hard to solidify (to put in precise words), and yet impossible to forget once you breathe it. His perfume is the one of senselessness, distilled out of those brutal men and their emotions and the women resisting –or getting lost in– them. In all its jazz-like storytelling, Hong cinema’s melancholy –either its moments of pure light (the comedy of absurdity), or its annihilating ones (the sadness of absurdity)- is unique in the contemporary landscape: it shies away from any definition and prefers to float like a drunken state over that which shapes us and disarms us. Coming across Hong again, or seeing his two latest films (In Another Country and Nobody’s Daughter Haewon) is the best way to confirm the honest and gaseous way he builds a filmography that knows how to see, capture, and materialize –surrounded by smoke and alcohol– those things which sometimes we find it impossible to realize we’re feeling.


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