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2004.06.28

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girish

i've seen just two films by hong sang-soo: "the day a pig fell into the well" (which, being unaccustomed to his style at the time, both baffled and delighted me), and "turning gate", which blew me away. it's a restrained, rigorous film that uses a mirror-image structure of a twice-told story, and in its quiet way, packs a great emotional punch.
i detect a hou hsiao-hsien influence in his films. i hear "the virgin stripped bare" is also terrific [and also employs the mirror-image structure].
there's a great article on hong by asian cinema specialist stephen teo in a back issue of "cinemascope" magazine.
i believe hong had a very good film at cannes in may.

girish

oops. missed clicking on your hong sang-soo link when i posted the above message.
sorry for the redundancies, though it's nice to know you love "turning gate" as well.
the new issue of "cinemascope" arrived today--mostly devoted to cannes. for lovers of "art cinema", and serious foreign/indie/avant-garde fare, the magazine is a real boon.
there's a nice piece on "woman is the future of man" by scott foundas of l.a. weekly, whose movie writings i usually enjoy.

Rashomon

Good review.
I need to see 'Power' again. I saw it back in 1998 and forgot about it. Then I recently saw 'Virgin Stripped Bare' and 'Turning Gate' and realized how fine a filmmaker Hong Sang-soo is. I'll have to jump on Ebay and see if I can find the DVD.

Filmbrain

The Koread DVD, though listed as Region-3, is actually Region-1. Problem is that it's not letterboxed -- sigh.

Filmbrain

Girish -- thanks for the reminder about Cinemascope -- must pick up this new issue.

Billy Bob

I think it's a bit disgusting that the only Asian directors that get any international recognition are the ones that wear their Western influences on their sleeves. It's unfortunate that Europe defines the standard for art cinema and that the only directors that get any love are the ones that have a European sensibility... a European perspective. It's familiar... I get that... but it marginalizes numerous aesthetics unique to cultures around Asia. Like it or not Cannes defines the standard; Ann Arbor, Images FF, NY FF, Rotterdam, are all the same. They like what is familiar; albeit this wasn't the case at Cannes at least in the 50's to maybe the 70's.

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