Friday, April 22, 2011


Hahaha (하하하)

Kim Sang-Kyung and Moon So-Ri in Hong Sang-Soo's Hahaha Based on films directed by Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo (홍상수) so far, I can safely come up two conclusions: he is obsessed about exploring the courtship of men toward women, and he loves to see his characters drinking. He frequently puts the word "woman" in his films' titles. For example, "Woman on the Beach" (해변의 여인), "Woman Is the Future of Man" (여자는 남자의 미래다), and "Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors" (오! 수정)—that "virgin" refers to a woman. As for drinking, can anybody even count how many drinking scenes in his films? Although his newest film continues to tell a story about the courtship over drinks, the title is a quite original and modern (like a text message or a Facebook update): "Hahaha" (하하하 | South Korea 2010 | in Korea | 115 min.). The film is just like its title—unusual, lighthearted, funny, and hahaha.

In the film, film director (the character, not Hong) Jo Moon-kyeong (Kim Sang-kyung) meets up his film critic friend Bang Jong-sik (Yu Jun-Sang) in Tongyeong before Moon-kyeong moves to Canada. Over drinks, they talk about their past happy moments in Tongyeong. Whenever a happy moment is flashed back, they cheer and have a sip. Of course, these moments almost always involve relationships with women, including a tour guide Wang Seong-ok (Moon So-Ri) who is also an amateur poet.

When more and more moments are revealed, and more and more drinking cups are emptied, the audience begins to realize that these two friends may be telling the same moments without even knowing it.

The twisted plot unfolds playfully and effortlessly, even you may wonder from time to time if you are the one who are having too much to drink, instead of the characters. The film certainly has Hong's signature style and his everlasting theme: courtship with women.

In the end, we can sense that Hong is the one who has the most fun making this film. He is the one laughing while many of us might be pondering what kind of joke he has been artfully telling in this film.

The 54th San  Francisco International Film Festival, April 21 - May 5, 2011 "Hahaha" (하하하) is showing at The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 21 - May 5, 2011. Click on the SFiFF54 logo on the right for showtime and ticket information.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?