Well, it hasn’t been long since the London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) 2020 closed – in fact, a matter of days if you include the two rescheduled cinema screenings – and we are now reeling from more REEL news.
In addition to the recent announcement from Terracotta Distribution there is yet more release news, and which pertains to that of Korean film director Hong Sang-soo.
HONG SANG-SOO NEWS – PART 1
For attendees, or indeed virtual attendees of the LKFF – past and present – and for readers who may have perused MMM’s article relating to [and rambling review of] Kim Cho-hee’s “Lucky Chan-sil“, you will know about Hong Sang-soo.
In this podcast review of the LKFF 2020, you can hear a little about that film and this year’s Hong Sang-soo film, and of course a lot more:
Hong Sang-soo’s output alone means that, perhaps down to the law of averages – and of course, programming! – we see at least one of his films at every London Korean Film Festival! With this in mind, the following news, or rather the film titles we speak of are really only a drop in the ocean, or a dip of the toe in the sea of Hong Sang-soo films made and out there!
What is this news?
Firstly, let’s just say that if you missed the screening of his “The Woman Who Ran” (도망친 여자) at the LKFF 2020 you’ll soon have a chance to witness it… and not only that, you will – dependant on which cinemas may be open and close to where you are – have that opportunity to see it ON THE BIG SCREEN and online. This is good news for admirers of Hong Sang-soo or his films, for fans of Korean cinema in general or simply cineastes and people who like ‘his style of filmmaking’.
So, on to the juice…
It’s no surprise to some of you, and especially any long-time readers of this website that we’re a bit of a fan of the platform, MUBI. MMM has raved about it in more than one article and podcast and currently the platform seem to be able to do no wrong. Feel free to check out any of the articles which touch on MUBI in this link:
We will add though that although MMM was a regular user of their MUBI GO element, before the world got in this current mess (and therefore after Mr MMM often took advantage of the FREE cinema ‘ticket’ EVERY WEEK), things changed. Of course, MUBI had to pull that part of the platform for a while, down to the fact that cinemas weren’t even open. It’s probably worth noting too that there have been subscription changes recently which meant that the MUBI and MUBI Go [or Mubi Go including the online MUBI element!] separated, at least with regard to how it can be paid for / subscribed to.
It’s also worth mentioning that this isn’t the first time that MUBI has had films by Hong Sang-soo on their platform and they’ve also had a mini-season or two before.
The first juicy ‘gossip’ or info is… that TWO of his films can now be seen for FREE* on the aforementioned MUBI online platform. Those films are “Tale Of Cinema” (극장전) and “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon” (누구의 딸도 아닌 해원).
One other change, or maybe better [debateable…] choice by MUBI was to remove the “only available for a month” way that the platform worked. This means that rather than having to rush to catch a film which becomes available on MUBI [and before it’s NOT available;)], it remains there for some time… and that time being much longer than a month!
*These films are free to subscribers of MUBI, but as discussed in at least one article of MMM’s there are various, legitimate ways to get free, no commitment trials to the platform.
Right, here’s what MUBI have to say about the mini-season of these 2 films, and link to MUBI’s page regarding him.
We’re big admirers of the South Korean master of awkward, tender, melancholy comedies Hong Sang-soo, a director who is revered in film festivals worldwide and often compared to Éric Rohmer. His films rely invariably on dialogue and conversation (frequently between characters under the effects of too much soju!) to expose the intricacies of human miscommunication. Standing as playfully complex…”
HONG SANG-SOO NEWS – PART 2
Did you attend the London Korean Film Festival 2020?
Did you ‘virtually’ attend any of its online screenings?
If so, was one of those films “The Woman Who Ran”?
The answer to the last question or indeed any is irrelevant really, as whether you witnessed that Hong Sang-soo movie or not it will now have a cinema release in the UK too!
In addition to this, “The Woman Who Ran” will feature on MUBI.
This is exciting news, if only for Korean cinema. We are increasingly seeing Korean film titles getting UK cinema releases – be these new films or re-issues / re-releases. Needless to say that Bong Joon-ho’s recent “Parasite” success has helped in making this happen.
Whether you like Hang Sang-soo’s films or way of filmmaking, or are simply intrigued, this news of a UK cinema release could be just the [cinema / virtual] ticket for you!
So, to explain what’s happening, here is the blurb taken directly from the Press Release:
CMC Pictures is proud to present the 70th Berlinale Silver Bear winner, The Woman Who Ran, the latest international award-winning work from Hong Sang-soo, one of South Korea’s best known and most acclaimed directors. Seeing him offering a new perspective on the lives of South Korean women, the film will be exclusively released in Curzon cinemas and available to rent on its streaming platform Curzon Home on 11th December, and will be available to stream on MUBI from 20th December.
Directed by legendary auteur Hong Sang-soo (Hotel By The River, The Day After, On The Beach At Night Alone) and starring his award-winning muse Kim Min-hee (Hotel By The River, On The Beach At Night Alone) and Seo Young-hwa (On The Beach At Night Alone), The Woman Who Ran follows the story of Gam-hee, who meets three female friends, two by the appointment and the other by chance, while her husband is away on a business trip. As they make friendly conversation, currents of mixed thoughts flow above and below the surface of their dialogues.
Hong utilises a relaxing, natural, and almost documentary-like aesthetic to create a female-only discourse, giving the film an intimate atmosphere as it discusses contemporary questions of companionship and relationships, exploring how women choose to live their lives. In Hong’s trademark style, there’s a rich undercurrent of unspoken information and details in the female characters’ deceptively casual conversations, with subtle nuances which are waiting for audiences to interpret and savour.
Known for his unique, often experimental style, Hong has become one of the most iconic and internationally acclaimed directors working in South Korea, and The Woman Who Ran is the first film that sees him turning his camera to an all-female perspective. The film won the 70th Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Director in March 2020 and has received glowing reviews from film critics around the world. The film has also been selected by numerous international festivals, including the London Korean Film Festival, Glasgow International Film Festival, and Brisbane Film Festival. Notably, the influential French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma selected The Woman Who Ran as one of its Top 10 movies of 2020.
The Woman Who Ran will be released on December 11th in Curzon Bloomsbury cinema in London and will be available to rent on Curzon Home Cinema at the same time, with further cinemas to be added around the UK as they reopen. The film will also be available to stream on MUBI starting 20th December.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with MUBI. We chose this festival title for our first work together, and we believe that it would be perfect content for film lovers on MUBI. In the future, CMC Pictures will acquire more international titles, and we are aiming to establish a long-term relationship with MUBI to deliver more beautiful content. “, said Julia Zhu, the director of CMC Pictures International Distribution.
In summary, “The Woman Who Ran” is coming to Curzon cinemas in London and Curzon Home Cinema from 11th December, with more cinemas probably being added as they reopen around the UK. The film will be available on MUBI from 20th December.
As stated earlier in this article regarding MUBI, films can be seen for FREE with a subscription to MUBI and/or a with a FREE trial.