15 April 2006 | bastard_wisher
Masterpiece from overlooked contemporary of Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-Liang
This is a great film. If this is any indication, than Hong Sang-Soo really is "Asian cinema's best kept secret". It's very similar in style to Tsai Ming-Liang and Hou Hsiao-hsien, and covers a lot of the same ground as them thematically, but I think I actually enjoy this more as a whole than any single one of their films. The overt minimalism is slightly less pronounced here than in their work, although it still completely fits that style (the camera never moves even once), and somehow I found the film less self-consciously "slow" than Tsai Ming-Liang or Hou Hsiao-hsien, which I think is part of the reason I enjoyed it more. Plus, it doesn't keep it's subjects quite as detached as Hou does. I felt like the film was also somehow more "complete" and less open-ended (just barely) than some of their work, although that's not to say it had much of anything resembling a forward-moving plot. I would have a hard time believing that Sophia Coppola wasn't directly influenced by this film for "Lost in Translation" (scenes of a young woman wandering around by herself, and languishing in her hotel room wearing punk panties can't help but seem familiar).