Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo has made 21 deceptively buoyant, morally inquisitive films and is a regular at Cannes. Few of his films, however, have reached the States (although some of you saw The Day After when we screened it in 2018). Film distribution can be capricious – three of Hong Sangsoo’s films are finally being released this month . . .
YOURSELF AND YOURS – opens June 5 – Hong’s new film (made in 2016 but finally released in the States this week) is one of his most delightful comic mysteries. When a young, idealistic painter, Youngsoo, learns that his girlfriend was recently seen having drinks with another guy, he can’t help but question her about it. It doesn’t go well. Yourself and Yours is clever puzzle of misconstrued meanings, unintended consequences and mistaken identities. (2020; 86 min)
CRITIC’S PICK! Hong puts you in tune with his world of his sad-sack characters. By the end, we may suspect that one character has found an entirely novel and effective way of resetting a romantic relationship. Or that something weirder and creepier is going on. The pleasure is in not quite knowing. – NY Times
HILL OF FREEDOM – opens June 12 Returning to Seoul after a long, restorative trip, a woman is given packet of letters from her boyfriend who has come to propose to her. But she drops the undated letters before she has read them and they scatter about. When she reads them, she has to make sense of the chronology… and so must we. Shot in the narrow alleys, petite cafes and beautiful hanok inns of Seoul’s historic Jong-ro district, a favorite Hong location, Hill of Freedom is a masterful, alternately funny and haunting, tale of love and longing from the great director. (2014; 67 minutes)
CRITICS PICK! -The New York Times
“A masterwork. Achieves a complexity akin to the grand historical meditations of Alain Resnais. Ingeniously constructed. I’ve watched it three times forwards and one time backwards and I feel as if I’m just beginning to get the hang of it.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
WOMAN ON THE BEACH – opens June 19 – Joong-rae, a filmmaker suffering from writer’s block, takes a trip to the coast with his production designer Chang-wook, who brings along the vivacious Moon-sook. Soon after their arrival, Moon-sook falls for Joong-rae. Our fickle hero however cannot commit. What had been a sardonic Jules and Jim turns into a burlesque Vertigo when Joong-rae returns to the coastal resort and attempts to recreate the original romance with a woman who resembles Moon-sook, until his jilted lover shows up… (2006; 126 min)
Also playing in our virtual cinema…
Race in America: We are screening three films that explore and bring a fresh and radical perspective to the current racial narrative in America. Two of these were shown in our series when they were originally released – I Am Not Your Negro and Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. They are both well worth a second look. The third, Whose Streets? , is one that we overlooked when it was released in 2017. We are donating our portion of the ticket sales (just under 50%) to causes and organizations addressing longstanding injustices: police reform initiatives, The Bail Project, The Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter.
Pioneers of Queer Cinema: three German classics from the 1920s and 30s that were landmarks in the early history of queer cinema: Madchen in Uniform, Michael, and Victor and Victoria
Capital in the 21st Century: a film that breaks the popular assumption that the accumulation of capital runs hand in hand with social progress, and shines a new light on today’s growing inequalities
Joan of Arc: Lise Leplat Prudhomme stars as the child-warrior. French filmmaker Bruno Dumont injects this heroine’s timeless cause and ideology with a modernity that highlights the fervor, strength and freedom women show when shackled by patriarchal societies and archaic virile customs.
Mysteries of Lisbon: Portuguese filmmaker Raul Ruiz’s six-part mini-series evokes the complex intertwined narratives of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. It is One of the first cinematic masterpieces of this century – Film Comment
Santiago, Italia Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti tells a story that many viewers may not know about: the efforts of the Italian Embassy to save the citizens of Chile targeted by the fascist regime of Augusto Pinochet.
The Wolf House an animated feature that tells the story of a young girl who escapes a cult colony of religious fanatics during Chile’s darkest years under rule of military dictator, Augusto Pinochet.
A White, White Day Iceland’s submission to the Academy for Best International Feature Film … a police officer on bereavement leave after the sudden loss of his wife in an apparent accident searches for someone to blame. He zeroes in on a neighbor whom he suspects may have had an affair with his wife. As past memories take on new meaning, his suspicion turns obsessive and imperils those around him.
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