I Book chon bang hyang I

Sonjoon is former film director now professor who has decided to pay a few days long visit to Seoul to reunite with a long time friend. Unfortunately, the old pal doesn’t answer his calls, and Sonjoon has nothing left to do than to roam the streets of Seoul’s suburbs and have a few drinks meanwhile. The boredom might be relieved by a group of recently befriended film students, if some twenty minutes later Soojoon wouldn’t have picked fight with them to depart in an even greater turmoil. The legs carry a drunk-as-a-skunk cineaste to the house of an exgirlfriend, whom Soonjoon spends a sobering night full of self pity, apology and desire for the woman.

The next morning with a clear head, Sonjoon promises never to return and meet the woman again. Back on the street the surroundings look dangerously familiar and it seems that yesterday starts to unfold from the beginning one again.

Known both as a film theorist, as well as a long time festival favourite helmer, the staple protagonists of Hong Sang-soo’s films are unknown filmmakers who like to speak of their craft and and demise, as well as observing a social situation from different temporal and spatial perspectives and character viewpoints.

THE DAY HE ARRIVES, raising buzz at this year’s Cannes, features the same leitmotifs, and plenty of them. As a matter of fact, one shouldn’t dwell too much on the logic of the storyline, in contrast Hong Sang-soo joyfully plays with the form, and the absurdity of life, creating a Woody Allen-like and witty self-reflective comedy with heavy dialogue and puns.

Sten Saluveer