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Review of ‘Introduction’, the latest work by Korean Hong Sang-soo

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The film won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlinale 2021.

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Years go by, five years go by, and there is no way to glimpse the twilight of Hong Sangsoo’s inspiration, surely the most important South Korean filmmaker of recent decades. His cinema permanently threatens to fall into a routine: one is no longer surprised to discover his subtle exercises of repetition-convariations based on a few scenic or dialogue motifs. However, the principle of uncertainty on which Hong’s work is based continues to shine like the first day. When two young male characters look offscreen and cannot tell if a woman looking at them from a distance is greeting them or not, the doubt turns into a metaphysical question. The celebration of the mystery of life reverberates in every corner of ‘Introduction’, a film of just 66 minutes that covers endless enigmatic interactions between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, men and women, young people and adults… in the light of the sun or under the snow, in reality or in a dream, in Korea or Germany. Nothing seems to escape the melancholy gaze of Hong, a wise filmmaker who invents poetic films.

For explorers of the mystery of everyday life

The best: the surprising ellipses that pierce the story.

The worst: the sophistication of the film necessarily requires an active viewer.

DATA SHEET

Direction: Hong Sang-soo Distribution: Shin Seok-ho, Park Mi-so, Kim Min-hee, Kim Young-ho, Ye Ji-won Original title: Interurodeoksyeon Country: South Korea Year: 2021 Release date: 11–03-2022 Gender: Drama Script: Hong Sang-soo Duration: 66 min.

Synopsis: Youngho navigates between his dream of becoming an actor, his love dilemmas, and his parents’ expectations: a prestigious acupuncturist with whom he has a distant relationship, and a restless mother who encourages him to focus on his career. When Ella’s girlfriend Juwon decides to travel to Berlin to study fashion design, Youngho surprises her with a visit from her.

Source: Fotogramas

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