Munho, a young art professor, is catching up with his friend Hunjoon, a broke filmmaker who has just returned from the United States. After a few drinks, they decided to track down Sunhwa, a young girl they were both in love with a few years earlier.
“Woman Is the Future of Man. Some years ago, I found this sentence by Aragon, in the Quartier Latin, on a postcard. I liked it. I knew that it was going to stay with me, but I didn’t really know why. While writing the film [Woman Is the Future of Man], it came back [to me] and I decided to recycle it. The reason is simple: my two male characters live in the present, and the woman apparently belongs in their past. They still remember her and they go looking for her, so she is their future. But this sentence does not trigger any emotions in me. I don’t succeed in understanding it. The repetition causes the words to lose their meaning. I like this feeling of strangeness and confusion. My films are constructed on very concrete situations, but they don’t deliver any message. I hope they result in individual, very different reactions.”
“If Cassavetes had been born uptight, pissed off, and South Korean, he might have made this movie. The simple structure, unwinding over roughly 36 hours, unassumingly encompasses a lifetime of disappointment and inescapable male foolishness. It’s quite a rich, absorbing spectacle to watch this supposedly happy family man worm his way into his old lover’s apartment for the night, ask for a blow job so he can get to sleep, run into his students and berate one of them during the obligatory drinking scene, and end up in the most depressing motel room for yet another blow job from a willing student methodically fulfilling a classroom crush.”
- 1. Hong Sang-soo, “Hong Sang-soo: « Un film est bon pour moi s’il modifie ma manière de penser »,” translated by Sis Matthé, Cahiers du Cinéma, 590 (2004).
- 2. Kent Jones, “Continental Divide,” Film Comment, July-August 2004.