Tireless South Korean one-man band Hong Sangsoo continue their idiosyncratic exploration of creativity, chance encounters, noodles, booze and gossip in their 27th feature film, ‘The Novelist’s Film,’ which debuts at University. from Nebraska–Lincoln’s Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on November 18.
Continuing is “18 1/2”.
“The Novelist Movie” tells the story of novelist Junhee (Lee Hyeyoung, last seen in Hong’s “In Front of Your Face”), who has become disenchanted with her own writing. On a trip to see an old friend, she meets a director who was to adapt one of her novels before the project came to fruition. A chance meeting leads to another and soon she finds herself having lunch with Kilsoo (Kim Minhee), a well-known actress who also questions her role as an artist. That’s when Junhee has a revelation: she’s going to make a movie with Kilsoo. It won’t be like the other movies. This will be the novelist’s film.
For his 27th feature film, Hong holds up a mirror of his own artistic approach and asks what exactly is expected of a work of art. As his characters discuss their lives and work and how they intertwine, Hong establishes a sort of manifesto for his own inimitable oeuvre before exploding it (or perhaps fully realizing it) into a emotional finale. With sparkling performances from Lee, Kim and an incredible cast of Hong regulars, “The Novelist’s Film” is a summary of Hong’s artistic project, even as it signals some bold new directions.
“The novelist’s film” is on view until December 1.
“18 1/2” is a 1970s Watergate conspiracy thriller/dark comedy about a woman in Nixon’s White House who attempts to leak the 18 1/2 minute tape to a reporter.
The film begins in January 1974, when the Watergate scandal is at its height. Connie, a low-level government stenographer, obtains a tape of Richard Nixon listening to, then erasing, the infamous 18½-minute gap that would eventually force him to resign from the presidency.
Connie takes the ferry to a remote town in the Chesapeake Bay to leak the tape to a reporter, but a broken reel-to-reel player leads them in search of a new machine so they can listen to the evidence. Along the way, they encounter a couple of Bossa Nova lovers, a group of conspiracy-obsessed hippies and nefarious forces trying to stop them at every turn.
“18 1/2”, which is rated PG-13, airs until November 24.