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[critical] Woman on the Beach

Joong-rae, a Korean director, is preparing his next film. Not being able to finish his screenplay, he decided to go to Shinduri, a seaside resort on the west coast for inspiration. He asks his friend chief set designer Chang-wook to accompany. But Chang-wook takes with him his girlfriend, Moon-sook, a composer. The latter, already an admirer of the films of Joong-rae, is not slow to yield to the advances of the director…

Author’s Note

[rating:8/10]

Release Date : August 20, 2008

Directed by Hong Sang-soo

Film Korean

With Ko Hyeon-jeong, Song Sunmi, Seung-woo Kim, Tae-woo Kim

Duration : 2h07min

Original title : Haebyonui Yoin

Trailer :

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For those who do not yet know Hong Sang-soo, perhaps they discovered recently on the screens with his very good In Another Country worn by Isabelle Huppert. To continue to explore the fascinating world of this Korean director, Blaq Out publishes a very nice box double Dvd (released April 2, 2013), including Woman on the Beach ( Night and Day). Woman on the Beach invites us to contemplate the depths of the human soul in a setting seaside full of the trademark of this great name in asian cinema.

In Woman on the Beach, Hong Sang-soo discusses the relationship man-woman, jealousy, rivalries with like questions : is this a serious mistake ? Do you not get constantly caught up in that same pattern of love ? He filmed the birth of a love and its end, passing by all steps in the process : the betrayal, reconciliation, acceptance, and breaking. But, well beyond the usual questions, Woman on the Beach shows a short moment of time (a day and a night) of a man trying to escape the images obsessive, posing the question of whether we can get rid of and how. We can then see this man, Mr Kim, screenwriter, exposing his young conquest, Moon-sook, his theory of the triangle, according to which the man focuses on images that are limited and negative haunting and explaining the way of scrambling in expanding his field of vision, a laborious process because it is not rooted in habits. And yes, do not wait for the cinema of Hong Sang-soo, a well of actions as they know so well his fellow-asian. The strength of this Korean is also, in reverie and contemplation.

For who is not familiar with Hong Sang-soo, each of his films can be a learning of the universe as they are alike in their treatment. Woman on the Beach seems to be very successful (2: 07), and includes all of the elements that are dear to the master. The repetition of scenes in identical sequences and plans zoomed are an original component of this film : Mr Kim will meet with two women who resemble each other and the beach becomes the meeting place recurring. Add to that, the taste for the scenes of meal sprinkled and the driven-crossed lovers, but also the presence of the artistic creation, with a mise en abyme of the work of the filmmaker (already present in In Another Country) with the character of Joong-rae, a writer in lack of inspiration. The scene in which the latter describes his work is not far away from the ridiculous situation. Hong Sang-soo, which favors the spontaneity of its actors, films when a character who seems to invent his script as he speaks, leaving his interlocutors dubious. Finally, the distinctive sign ultimate from the world of Hong Sang-soo : the sea, the vastness of the beach and the anchor of his stories about a tourist site (often seaside) allowing characters in search of freedom and inspiration to liberate themselves and find themselves. The coast and its endless horizons then serve as the backdrop to the torments interiors of the soul, and sublime reverie and contemplation where the director excels.

The strength of this Korean is also, in reverie and contemplation.

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