Novelist’s Film, The: South Korea’s Hong Sangsoo (Venice; NYFF 2022)

The Novelist’s Film

Hong Sangsoo, 2022, South Korea, 92m

Korean with English subtitles

North American Premiere

For his playful and thought-provoking 27th feature, Hong Sangsoo takes on the perspective of a prickly middle-aged novelist, Junhee (Lee Hyeyoung, the magnetic star of Hong’s In Front of Your Face).

After revisiting an old friend who now runs a bookshop outside of Seoul, she embarks on a restorative journey that leads her to a chance encounter with a famous actress and former movie star (Kim Minhee); the two make an instant connection that stokes both women’s dormant creative impulses. Within this simple, loose-limbed premise, Hong locates a deep well of emotional truth, and poses a bounty of questions about the necessities and expectations of art-making, leading to a poignant, entirely unexpected, mode-shifting climax. A Cinema Guild release.