The Day He Arrives (2012)
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Critic Reviews for The Day He Arrives
The listless execution may remind you less of 8 1/2 than of Woody Allen's whiny Stardust Memories.
Sang-soo Hong has no profound point to pound home. His story doesn't need an ending. He accepts all the characters just as they are.
Hong abstracts the tense network of fragile relationships to crisp, briskly sketched lines that he adorns with bubbly and self-deprecating humor and graceful wonders...
Hong offers a strange mixture of magic, mystery, rueful melodrama and dry comedy that's like absolutely nothing else.
The movie becomes an exploration, both playful and rueful, of desire, narrative and the idea beautifully expressed by Faulkner in "Absalom, Absalom!" that "maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished."
Audience Reviews for The Day He Arrives
In "The Day He Arrives," Sungjoon(Jun-Sang Yu) decides to take off some time from his day job as a film director to visit Seoul, so he can look up some old friends. First is Kyungjin(Bo-kyeong Kim), an old flame. Then there is Youngho(Sung Jung Kim) who does not recognize the feelings he has for Boram(Seon-mi Song). The only things that really set apart "The Day He Arrives" from Sang-soo Hong's other films is that it is filmed in black and white and is set in Seoul. But aside from a few exterior shots and a civil defense drill, this could have just easily been Omaha. Perhaps realizing that he is simply repeating himself, Sang-soo Hong decided to make the entire movie one whole long Mobius Strip which you have to admit is kind of different. And actually not that long at 78 minutes.
A director arrives in Seoul to meet an old friend; he gets drunk, meets various people, and then situations start to repeat with variations, characters who've met before act like they've never been introduced, and he meets a bar owner who looks and acts exactly like his ex-girlfriend. Well made but it's never clear what the movie is trying to say or, more importantly, why we should care.
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