Former director Seoung-jun returns to Seoul for a couple of days to meet his old friend Young-ho. The two friends spend most of their time at the quiet bar ”Novel”—drinking soju and talking about the overlap between coincidence and fate. After reuniting with his ex-lover, Seoung-jun realizes that they are not meant to be together after all and instead finds the pretty bar owner catching his eye. Seoung-jun spends most of his time in bars, smoking, drinking excessively, and arguing over fate and filmmaking with his new acquaintances. The cyclical storytelling makes »The Day He Arrives« feel like a subdued »Sliding Doors«. Sang-soo plays with the narrative timeline and presents alternative outcomes for every scene. The film has a simple yet rough style in which every scene is one long take with gawky zooming and repetitive dialogues. This South Korean drama, shot in black and white, deals with male pity, existential questions, and adventitious love affairs. Once again, Sang-soo has succeeded in making a self-reflecting film about filmmakers who have unrealized careers and complicated relationships with women.

Title
The Day He Arrives
Director
Hong Sang-soo
Country
South Korea
Length
79 min
Festival
2011
Section
Asian Images
Language
Korean
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2011
Original title
Book chon bang hyang
Cast
Sang Jung Kim, Jun-Sang Yu
Producer
Kim Kyounghee
Script
Hong Sang-soo
Music
Yongjin Jeong

You might also like

See all films from the 2011 festival