The Day A Pig Fell Into The Well
One of the striking features of the festival is a Hong Sang-soo retrospective. Sang-soo is a South Korean filmmaker who received critical recognition with his debut directorial feature The Day A Pig Fell Into The Well, released in 1996. His latest feature is Woman on the Beach, which was released last year. The Festival is featuring a complete screening of all his films.
A recurrent theme in all of Sang-soo’s films is the alienation and stunted emotional growth experienced by his characters. They all relate to others in a unique way, which clearly shows how they can be members of society but yet remain completely detached from it. These people are sociopaths on some level, creating a world for themselves which is completely isolated from the real world. What is most interesting is to see how they react to each other, and to their own handicap, especially since they themselves are unaware of it.
What is most disturbing is that if their detachment were not so extreme and their emotional void not quite so empty, they might just be people like you or me. If you believe in accidents, then it is a small twist of fate that has made these characters the way they are and it is just as likely they could have gone another way, and ended up quite normal. This fragility is what makes Hong’s movies so enticingly repulsive. If you are interested in the complexities of human nature, Hong’s films are for you.
Also showing is Chris Chan Lee’s Undoing, a neo-noir film based in (where else?) L.A. about crooked cops, blackmail, and a fugitive who returns home for some revenge. It stars Sung Kang of The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift fame, in a strikingly different role.