The Day He Arrives

Director: Hong Sang-Soo
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 1.0

A filmmaker (Yu Jun-Sang) - who, unlike Hong Sang-Soo, is actually taking his time in planning his next movie - arrives in Seoul to do what Hong's protagonists usually do: drink a lot, smoke, engage in awkward conversations, wander around and end up sleeping with an ex- (that he can't commit to). Since Hong has basically made this movie already (only better), this is a case of been-there, done-that: though the arguments are in place that the filmmaker is basically engaging in slightly fictionalized autobiography, shouldn't his life be compelling so as to earn this kind of cinematic masturbation? When Yu finally has his photograph taken at the end and he has this startled, uncomfortable expression on his face, it's intended to suggest a sudden 'awareness' of the state of his existence, though no doubt in future films his lead will be doing the same exact kind of aimless drifting, engaging in similar conversations over copious amounts of tobacco and booze and drifting by the same past friends on the street, making idle small talk and then briskly moving on to the next encounter.