South Korean director Hong Sang-Soo has made almost 30 features since his directorial career began in the mid-’90s. That’s not Fassbinder-level productivity (which is at least a small part of what killed Fassbinder before he reached the age of 40, so we’re not advocating that) but it’s still impressive.
Many of his early features could be described with a line of dialogue from the 1949 classic noir “The Third Man.” You know, the bit where the main character describes himself as “a hack writer who drinks too much and falls in love with girls.” Substitute “screenwriter” or “director” for “hack writer” and you’re pretty much good to go.
It is in Hong Sang-Soo’s intense examinations of tributaries of the human condition, done with such grace and care, he has mapped out moments of humanity that are often lived, but rarely seen.
Josh Kupecki, Austin Chronicle