FNC 2016: What you should know about Korean director Hong Sang-soo

Kim Joo-hyuck and Lee You-young in the Korean film Yourself and Yours, by Hong Sang-soo.
Kim Joo-hyuck and Lee You-young in the Korean film Yourself and Yours, by Hong Sang-soo.

Kim Joo-hyuck and Lee You-young in Yourself and Yours, by Hong Sang-soo.

The Festival du nouveau cinéma will show the film Yourself and Yours, by Korean director Hong Sang-soo on Friday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016.

Some film fans prefer to go into a film knowing as little as possible about it, but when it comes to Hong Sang-soo, knowing a bit about his style will add to your enjoyment, and possibly stave off confusion, too.

Hong Sang-soo is a “what if?” kinda guy. His films explore possibilities, alternative outcomes, and interpretations.

For instance, three or four friends go to a bar, and Hong shows several variations of that event. Things might turn out this way, or that way. Maybe what we see is the way this person, or that one, perceived things. Maybe a director insulted an actor, or maybe it was just a joke? And when copious amounts of alcohol are involved, as they often are in Korean films, can anyone’s recollection be trusted?

The main male character in a Hong film is often a film director or a former film director. Maybe he teaches at a university when he’s between films. He might have an inflated sense of his own importance, and think that he’s “God’s gift to women.” (Especially after a few drinks.) He might also be suffering from writer’s block.

According to the reviews I’ve read, Youngsoo, the man in Yourself and Yours, is a painter, not a filmmaker. Still an arty guy, though, and possibly a pretentious one. He’s played by Kim Joo-hyuck. Youngsoo gets upset when a friend tells him his girlfriend Minjung (Lee You-young) has been seen drinking with other men. Minjung says it wasn’t her.

Evidently, this time, in Yourself and Yours, it’s not so much situations that repeat themselves, but the character of Minjung.

In a review in Screen Daily, Wendy Ide writes: “Meanwhile, a girl who may be Minjung or may look just like her has a series of encounters with other men. . .Although she is repeatedly approached by men who say they recognise her. . .she denies knowing any of them. . . But is she a liar? Are there multiple Minjungs, all wreaking havoc on the hearts of the men who hit on her? Or is it all in the mind of Youngsoo. . .”

Yourself and Yours, directed by Hong Sang-soo, with Kim Joo-hyuck, Lee You-young, Kim Eui-sung.
In Korean with English subtitles, 86 minutes long.

Friday, Oct. 14, 2016
Program #238 17:00
Cineplex Odeon Quartier Salle 10

Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016
Program #284 15:00
Cinéma Impérial

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