Thursday, May 5, 2022
2:00pm The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well (115m)
Hong’s acclaimed feature debut begins as a study of an affair between a temperamental writer (Kim Eui-sung) and a married woman (Lee Eun-kyung), and gradually zooms outward to reveal its tragic ripple effects on the lives of a germaphobic businessman (Park Jin-sung) and a young movie-theater ticket-taker (Cho Eun-sook). Though more somber in tone than many of Hong’s subsequent seriocomedies, this multi-strand drama displays his masterful touch in its unsparing look at the complexities of love (particularly when combined with alcohol) and the heart-tearing void that remains in its absence.
4:15pm Grass (66m)
Sitting in a café, typing on a laptop, Areum (Kim Minhee) eavesdrops on three dramatic situations unfolding in her general vicinity: a young woman bound for Europe and a male friend erupting in vitriolic accusations, a washed-up actor trying to sweet-talk his way into staying with an old friend, and a narcissistic actor-director (Jung Jin-young) trying to rope a young writer into his next project. Playing out largely in long-take two-shots, these conversations create a kind of never-ending theatrical performance, using Areum as the anchor. With its raw emotions and outward formal simplicity masking a complex episodic approach, Grass finds Korean master Hong setting up a fascinating narrative problem for himself and solving it as only he can.