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Director: Hong Sang-soo

Screenwriter: Hong Sang-soo

Producer: Hong Sang-soo

Editor: Son Yeon-ji

Cast: Ki Joo-bong, Kim Min-hee, Song Seon-mi, Kwon Hae-hyo, Yu Jun-sang

Cinamatographer: Kim Hyung-koo

 

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Hotel by the River

Gangbyun Hotel

 

Wisconsin Premiere • narrative • South Korea • 2018 • DCP • Korean with English subtitles • 96 MIN

section: New International Cinema

Another year means another gorgeous, beguiling, and quietly shattering film from Hong Sang-soo, "so clearly the greatest filmmaker of his time" (Dan Sallitt, MUBI). Convinced his days are numbered, a renowned poet (Ki Joo-bong) summons his two estranged sons (Hong mainstays Kwon Hae-hyo and Yu Jun-sang) to a hotel along the Han River in the dead of winter. A few rooms down, a young woman (Kim Min-hee, lead actress in The Handmaiden and Hong's last five films) recouping from a bad break-up and a mysterious burn is consoled by her visiting friend (Song Seon-mi). These parallel storylines of feuding men and maltreated women intersect only in fleeting, comical ways, before converging in one of the most affecting climaxes of Hong's career. Folding handheld camerawork into a signature style that includes zooms, long takes, and dreamlike digressions, Hotel by the River showcases this South Korean master's recent shift toward a more raw and troubling intimacy. 2018 Locarno, New York, and Toronto International Film Festivals. (ZZ)
 

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