A female novelist takes a long trip to visit a bookstore run by a younger colleague who has fallen out of touch.
“Appearing as a film-within-the-film, the ending scene is surprising, because with it, The Novelist’s Film, which had until this point seemed gentle but still somewhat angst-ridden, starts to feel like one of the director’s sweetest films, registering ultimately as a touchingly sincere tribute to his life in filmmaking, and to love discovered through art-making.”
“The Novelist’s Film is filled with winking jabs at Hong’s fixations, suggesting a grand joke at his own expense, namely how his dialogue-driven, visually modest work is often called ‘literary.’ Yet the film takes a broader, more wondrous look at how an accomplished artist in one medium might attempt to tackle another with no grounding in its rules and standards.”
“Working in unusually high-contrast black and white, the film – also shot, written and edited by the director – is a springy, slight treat that wryly comments on the filmmaking world, and even includes a sudden pop of colour. But really, the ongoing revelation of Hong’s filmography is that he can so often revisit themes and recycle scenes and recast from the same small pool of regular collaborators, yet every one of his films feels dipped in newness and a breezy spontaneity that feels like a gulp of fresh air.”
- 1Matt Turner, “The Novelist’s Film,” Little White Lies, February 2022.
- 2Jake Cole, “The Novelist’s Film Review: Hong Sang-soo Finds Poetry in Familiar Rhythms,” Slant, February 2022.
- 3Jessica Kiang, “The Novelist’s Film: Hong Sangsoo celebrates the casual, sensual and spontaneous pleasures of life,” Sight and Sound, February 2022.