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Review: The Day He Arrives

Variations
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 17, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars



"Stop copying me!" says Seong-jun (Yu Jun-sang), the has-been filmmaker at the center of the 12th cinematic Mobius strip from Hong Sang-soo. Seong-jun has just gotten drunk with some admiring students because his reunion in Seoul with old friend Young-ho (Kim Sang-joong) has fallen through. Over the next few days, scenes shot in single black-and-white takes find Seong-jun repeating actions within an elliptical narrative as similar episodes reconfigure with slight variations: fleeing the students, he crumbles in the arms of an old girlfriend (Kim Bo-kyung); the next day, he does meet with Young-ho, there's more drinking, and then he bumps into a bar owner who looks like his ex (also played by Kim). Hong may be copying a template from his earlier movies about flailing directors (Like You Know It All, Woman on the Beach), but each film is unique, punctuated by occasional zooms that underline the randomness of existence.

  Topics: Reviews , Boston, short takes, things to do,  More more >
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