The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (2)
With modest means and a limited field of action, Hong achieves a complexity akin to the grand historical meditations of Alain Resnais; steering clear of explicit politics, he conjures revealing attitudes through reverberant-and often comical-details.
The prolific South Korean writer-director's funniest work ...
Hill of Freedom doesn't rely on linguistic miscues for easy humour. Even in English, it's one of Hong's best films to date, and demonstrates that his jaundiced vision of Korean culture can transcend the specificities of language.
Hong Sang-soo's Hill of Freedom is a melancholic delight.
A light-hearted and slightly humorous story of a young man experiencing a vexing and bewildering transition in his life.
Final resolution and wrap-up are hurried, facile and non-cinematic, in today's common cop-out of a few seconds' offscreen voice telling viewers the future.
It isn't without its pleasures and occasional insights, but ultimately little more than an excuse for Hong to try out a new stylistic color in his auteurist palette.
The mismatched narrative suggests two possible endings for the film, and where Hong's characters usually lose out in playing the field, for once both conclusions seem equally affirming.
"Hill of Freedom" is an amiable way to spend 66 minutes learning how even cultures that seem closely related to Western eyes, can clash. And how cultures that seem so far from our own can be trumped by the same universal experiences we all share.
Though small in scale this South Korean film is particularly charming and quite funny, with never a dull moment among the natural approach given by the writing and cast's performances. I wouldn't say the film was meant to or even exceed the limit of Art House drama, though it's quite obscure hearing the dialogue mostly in English. But really, the subject matter and drama at play really make the film what it is; a "feel good", "catching up with old friends" type of drama/comedy that barely resembles the type of film viewers would expect to see. Definitely a worth while choice I've seen at MIFF ;)
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