Few if any contemporary directors have amassed as vast and prolific a body of work as Hong Sangsoo. Working at an unparalleled clip of productivity, the South Korean auteur has helmed 25 of his 27 features this century, each a valuable addition to an oeuvre that returns time and again to the same themes, preoccupations, and strategies, but always with some fresh angle, some radically new way of telling a familiar story. Hong’s films seize the material of everyday life—regret, infidelity, professional frustrations, the casual cruelty and brutish folly of men and women alike (but especially men)—in the service of exploring psychology and metaphysics in elegant, subtly profound ways. In a structural gesture befitting Hong, our two-part survey consists entirely of double features, with each film paired differently each time it screens and special 2-for-1 pricing. This career-spanning retrospective, timed to the release of In Front of Your Face (NYFF59), will also feature in-person appearances by Hong who will return to NYC for the first time since NYFF55 in 2017.
Tickets for both parts of the retrospective are now on sale. Please note: There will be an intermission between films in every double feature.
The extensive retrospective of films directed by Hong includes a treasure of NYFF selections, such as The Day After, shot in moody black and white, which tracks a roundelay of mistaken identity and déjà vu; Hill of Freedom, a series of disordered scenes based on undated letters received by a woman from her Japanese lover; Hotel by the River, following two tales which intersect at a riverside hotel; Right Now, Wrong Then, a bifurcated tale of an art-film director and a drunken night he shares with a fledgling artist; Woman on the Beach, a classic example of Hong’s trademark double-narrative structure; The Woman Who Ran, a comic triptych of thwarted connections and everyday dysfunction; and Yourself and Yours, a break-up/make-up comedy unlike any other, suffused with sophisticated modernist mystery.
Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan.
Dennis Lim’s monograph Tale of Cinema, exploring the oeuvre of the South Korean auteur via his 2005 film, will be available from Fireflies Press during the second half of the retrospective (May 3-10) and then released in bookstores worldwide in August.
The Hong Sangsoo Multiverse is presented in partnership with the Korea Society:
Part Two | May 3 - 10
Free and open to the public! | May 3 at 7pm | Reception and book signing to followFilm Comment editors Clinton Krute and Devika Girish will host a special conversation with Film at Lincoln Center Director of Programming Dennis Lim about the playful, profound, and soju-soaked filmography of one of world cinema’s most influential and ingenious artists.
Q&A with Hong Sangsoo between the two screeningsTale of Cinema is composed of two halves: in the first, a young man encounters a woman he used to know, and the two spend an existentially fraught evening together; in the second, a slightly older man seemingly has an extremely similar experience, with some crucial differences. In On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate , a playful and profound meditation on love, fate, and how we try to make sense of reality’s essential ambiguity, an actor must choose between the love of a young dance instructor and that of a married woman who swears she knows him from somewhere.
Q&A with Hong Sangsoo will take place between the two screeningsThe Woman Who Ran is a comic triptych of thwarted connections and everyday dysfunction, a peripatetic woman visits a succession of friends: two on purpose, one by chance. Woman is the Future of Man follows two friends’ attempted trip down memory lane turns sour in this volatile melodrama, a key work in the development of Hong’s approach to examining relations between men and women.
Free Entry for In Front of Your Face Opening Weekend TicketholdersIn Nobody's Daughter Haewon, a chamber piece at once eloquently simple and deceptively complex, a young film student finds herself at loose ends when her mother moves to Canada. In In Front of Your Face, a middle-aged former actress has returned to South Korea to reconnect with her past and perhaps make amends in Hong's beguiling and oddly cleansing mix of the spiritual and the cynical.
Free and open to the public! | May 7 at 5pmJoin Dennis Lim and director Hong Sangsoo for an expansive discussion covering the entirety of Hong’s singular career to date and his richly intricate and always surprising filmography.
Free Entry for In Front of Your Face Opening Weekend TicketholdersHong’s acclaimed feature debut, The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, begins as a study of an affair between a temperamental writer and a married woman, and gradually zooms outward to reveal its tragic ripple effects on the lives of a germaphobic businessman and a young movie-theater ticket-taker. In In Front of Your Face, a middle-aged former actress has returned to South Korea to reconnect with her past and perhaps make amends in Hong's beguiling and oddly cleansing mix of the spiritual and the cynical.
Part One | April 8 - 17
Screenings Rescheduled to April 19In Woman on the Beach, a creatively blocked filmmaker convinces his friend to join him on a brief holiday to finish a script, he begins an affair with the friend’s girlfriend, only for the tale to be inverted in the film’s second half. In Nobody's Daughter Haewon, a chamber piece at once eloquently simple and deceptively complex, a young film student finds herself at loose ends when her mother moves to Canada.
Tickets for both parts of the retrospective are now on sale.
Special 2-for-1 double feature pricing! Tickets for both films in the double feature are $15; $12 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $10 for FLC Members.
Please note: If you’d like to see one film in a double feature, the standard price still applies.