A youthful trio has convened off-season on the desolate yet beautiful Jeju Island. The director, leading actress, and cinematographer are preparing to shoot a film, yet the subject matter remains unclear. While potential professional and romantic jealousies simmer in the background, Hong Sangsoo instead prioritizes the contingencies of artmaking and inspiration, as the film-within-the-film’s first-time director (Shin Seokho) gradually discovers the melancholy centerpiece of his self-funded passion project. Characteristically small yet enormously touching, Hong’s latest treasure happens upon a simple aesthetic conceit that pays dividends: the image is mostly out of focus, lending each frame a delicate, smudgy impressionistic quality. As the young director’s movie gradually makes itself clear on screen, so does Hong’s vision of the often all-consuming pursuit for artistic meaning. A Cinema Guild release.
Recommended Film Comment reading:
- The Film Comment Podcast: In Water (Berlinale 2023)
- Interview: Hong Sangsoo on Claire’s Camera and The Day After (2017)
- The Film Comment Podcast: The Hong Show with Dennis Lim
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