Hong Sang-Soo Tribute in New York

Woman on the Beach

Hong Sang-Soo continues to gather distinctions in the international film festival circuit as he has consistently done over the past few years. The author of The Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors and A Tale of Cinema has won the Best Director award for Woman on the Beach (2006), which stars Ko Hyeon-jeong and Kim Seung-woo and was competing at the 22nd Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina.

Prior to receiving this award on March 17th at the event's closing ceremony, Woman on the Beach had been previously screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2006, as well as the Toronto, Vancouver, Tokyo and New York film festivals. At home, there is certainly no dearth of critical recognition either: Hong Sang-Soo was honored with the Director of 2006 Award by the Korean Film Directors Association at the Director’s CUT Awards ceremony last December.


As I write these lines, I am realizing that I completely missed the Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors blogathon initiated by Brian Darr (Hell On Frisco Bay) on the occasion of  the  Hong Sang-Soo Retrospective at the 25th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (the writing celebration of Hong’s oeuvre was held on March 21st). But I will make a belated contribution as soon as I am done with my piece about Korean-Japanese director Sai Yoichi/Choi Yang-Il (Blood and Bones, Soo).


New York will have its own retrospective very soon: Hong’s last three films will be screened on April 16, 20, and 21 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Cinematek .


Here is the official announcement: 


Hong Sang-soo and the cast of 'Woman on the Beach'


“One of the most exciting and authentically individual filmmakers to emerge on the world stage recently…. Wreathed in a profound melancholy, Hong’s films lyrically explore the limits of subjectivity, both its pathos and its dangers, often through different viewpoints that don’t so much cancel one another out as add another tile to the mosaic of existence.” — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

The Korea Society co-presents a ‘Hong Sang-Soo tribute' with BAM Cinematek, featuring the celebrated Korean director's three latest films that have won over critics and audiences alike worldwide - Woman is the Future of Man, Tale of Cinema and Woman on the Beach.


Location: BAM Cinematek @ 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (map). Click here to to buy tickets.


Monday, April 16 at 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm

Woman is the Future of Man (Yeojaneun namjani miraeda) (2004), 88min

Directed by Hong Sang-Soo

With Yu Ji-Tae, Kim Tae-Woo, Seong Hyun-Ah


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Two male college friends reunite and spontaneously decide to look up a woman with whom they were both separately involved. “The men’s self–immolating behavior is what’s saddest in the Hong universe, thanks largely to his duplicitous manner with narrative. You can rarely grip the shape of the entire film until past the halfway marker. When you do, the tragedy of soured lives is beyond the point of no return.” —The Village Voice


Friday, April 20 at 2, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15pm

Tale of Cinema (Geuk jang jeon) (2005), 89min

Directed by Hong Sang-Soo

With Lee Ki-Woo, Uhm Ji-Won


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A young man bumps into a female friend; the ensuing evening involves drinking, sex, and a suicide pact. Turns out it’s only a film (within a film), but life imitates art, which in turn imitates life... “Tale expands on Hong’s preoccupations with a renewed conceptual depth. While it may be a tough film to love, it is also Hong’s finest work to date, marking a bold new direction just when Hong is most in need of a fresh start.”

— Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope


Saturday, April 21 at 3, 6, 9pm

Woman on the Beach (Haebyonui yoin) (2006), 128min

Directed by Hong Sang-Soo

With Go Hyun-Jung, Kim Seung-Woo, Kim Tae-Woo, Song Seon-Mi 


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A filmmaker, writing his latest script at a seaside resort town, becomes involved with two women. As ever, Hong is comically and painfully lucid in outlining the jealousy and self-absorption that fuel his male characters’ drunken acting out. In the scene that is at the heart of this film, he does so literally with the help of a diagram—a fitting gesture for a filmmaker so obsessed with the geometry of human relationships. 


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