The Day He Arrives | Chicago Reader

The Day He Arrives

79 minutes

Korean director Hong Sang-soo has carved a out a niche for himself with his tongue-in-cheek comedies of sexual maneuvering (Woman on the Beach, Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors), though this 2011 feature, shot in black and white, seems like a trifle compared to his best work. As in other of his movies, the protagonist is an unhappy film director, orbited by fresh and lovely young women, whose morose self-absorption generally undercuts his attempts to exploit the aphrodisiacal power of his job. Hong varies the formula here with a bit of Fellini-esque navel gazing, as the narrative loops back around on itself and scenes are restaged with notable variations. But the listless execution may remind you less of 8 1/2 than of Woody Allen's whiny Stardust Memories. In Korean with subtitles.

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