6:00pm Hahaha (116m)
A playful, sophisticated meditation on doubling and narration’s relation to the unconscious, masquerading as a gentle summer comedy, Hahaha begins with two friends (Kim Sang-kyung and Yoo Joon-sang) meeting for drinks and comparing notes on their separate trips to the same resort town, and the follies and misadventures they got into while there. But unbeknownst to them, a third party eavesdropping on their conversation discerns quite a bit of overlap and redundancy in the friends’ anecdotes, suggesting, however improbably, that the two men have managed to encounter the exact same cast of characters in their travels.
8:15pm Introduction (66m)
In Hong’s steady yet playful hands, even the simplest premise can become a puzzle box of unpredictable, poignant human behavior. There could be no better example of his casual mastery than this breezy yet complexly structured study of a group of characters—most crucially parents and their grown offspring—trying to relate to one another via a series of thwarted or stunted meetings and introductions, centered around a young man (Shin Seok-ho) on the cusp of adulthood, confused about his romantic relationships and professional goals. It’s a film that keeps opening up to the viewer through digressions and reversals, leading to one of Hong’s most amusingly unsettling soju-soaked outbursts. An NYFF59 selection.