With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Friday, April 13, 2012

ACF 1427: U.S. theatrical premiere of OKI'S MOVIE by HONG Sang-soo

Jingu (LEE Sunkyun); all photos courtesy Maysles Cinema
Oki's Movie / Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa
Directed by HONG Sang-soo
With LEE Sunkyun, JUNG Yumi, and MOON Sungkeun 
South Korea, 2010, 80 minutes 
When: April 16-22 at 7:30 PM 
U.S. Theatrical Premiere
Where: Maysles Cinema
343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard, NYC
Between 127th and 128th Streets
Map here

HONG Sang-soo is a South Korean director whose works I have only recently encountered. Oki's Movie is the fourth of his films that I've seen. This upcoming one-week run at the Mayles Cinema in New York will mark the films U.S. theatrical premiere. (In March, The Korea Society presented it at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens as part of a retrospective of HONG's films.)

Jingu and Oki (JUNG Yumi), in one of HONG's trademark eating/drinking scenes

The film is about three individuals in a film department. In the order in which we meet them, they are: Jingu (LEE Sunkyun), a young filmmaker and heavy drinker; Professor Song (MOON Sungkeun), the chief professor of the department; and Oki (JUNG Yumi), another young filmmaker. It is divided into four sections, the last one sharing the movie's title. In this the film is different from the other three of HONG's films that I'd previously seen. Each of them were bifurcated in some way. Woman is the Future of Man (2004) and Like You Know It All (2009) both take place in two separate locales. Tale of Cinema (2005) consists of two separate, yet related, story lines.

Jingu and Oki outside her apartment

On the other hand, Oki's Movie shares a number of characteristics with the other three films. Each has a young male filmmaker as either the main character or one of the main characters. (Oki's Film, as I've mentioned, also has a female film director as a main protagonist, as well as another male filmmaker as a secondary protagonist.) In each there is a lot of eating and even more drinking going on. And the four films share stylistic consistencies such as a basically static, tripod-mounted camera that utilizes occasional slow zooms.

Jingu and Oki at Mt. Acha

HONG Sang-soo is a well-respected art house director, and I've come to understand and appreciate his works more with each film I've seen. Oki's Movie has contributed significantly to that progression, and I must confess that I look forward to revisiting it before long.  A film most definitely worth seeing.

ACF Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; solidly recommended

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