Watching 북촌방향 (The Day He Arrives)
Date: 9/1/2012 11:04:00 PM
Netflix Summary: This dreamlike, meandering narrative -- shot in black and white and set in the Korean capital of Seoul -- follows the movements of university professor Sungjoon, who's supposed to meet a male colleague but comes across an old actress friend instead.
Hong Sang-soo beautifully captures longing, frustration with an artist’s block, and a mix of mild self-revelation and self-loathing through a film that loops through various variations of similar motifs. The set-up itself seems to be a variation of Hahaha – a filmmaker (erstwhile) comes to meet his film critic friend. And seems to depict an art-piece being created. Much like Hahaha, the filmmakers keep telling us what they want to do - and in very interesting conversations.
I am not sure if the filmmaker gets to meet his friend, but he certainly looks around with wide-eyed confusion – and the film seems to suggest that all the wanderings finally end his block. Yu Junsang looks crazy enough to be on a self-imposed exile, and strong enough to come back from it. He turns the neurotic response of his character into something filled with tenderness. Kim Bokyung as his love-interest in a loopy double role delivers loving performances.
A great watch. Need to watch it again soon, expect another entry.