Previously at the ICA - Films
16 Oct 2011
Nobody who’s seen a Hong Sangsoo film before will be surprised to hear that The Day He Arrives centres on drinking, social embarrassments, seductions and rejections. The surprise is that – once again – it all feels so fresh and unfamiliar. Yoo Seongjun moved from Seoul to teach in Taegu a while ago. He arrives back to visit his friend Youngho, unannounced, and finds himself with time to kill… You could just about understand what follows as an account of what happens during the few days of Seongjun’s visit: encounters with an ex-girlfriend and with her near-double, the owner of a small bar called Novel; chats with Youngho; increasingly awkward brushes with a pushy woman and a group of her students. But
as the days play out in a pattern of repetitions and variations, it becomes clear that what we’re watching is more like a series of alternative possibilities, the musings of a man as he stitches together essentially random meetings and conversations into possible storylines. Is this Hong revealing his own working methods? Sometimes riotously funny, sometimes tremendously moving, sometimes both at the same time.
Dir. Hong Sangsoo, South Korea 2011, 79min
Cast: Yu Junsang, Kim Sangjoong, Song Sunmi, Kim Bokyung