Tale of Cinema

(Geuk jang jeon)

  • Introduction

    Dennis Lim is a film curator, teacher, and writer. He is currently the artistic director of the New York Film Festival and was director of programming at Film at Lincoln Center from 2013 to 2022. His most recent monograph, Tale of Cinema, focuses on this film to explore Hong’s oeuvre. There will be a book signing at 6:00, prior to the screening of Oki’s Movie.


Lee Ki-woo, Uhm Ji-won, Kim Sang-kyung, Jo Han-chul,

Hong first began to play with cinema’s forms with this appropriately titled work, which plaintively begins with two impromptu lovers deciding on a vaguely defined suicide pact, only to then (almost literally) close the theater door on that film and continue instead with another involving two audience members and their possible connections to the first tale. What’s real in both versions, though, is Hong’s almost ethnographic focus on the human animal, its awkwardness, vanity, and self-doubt. “A key work in the first phase of Hong’s career, Tale of Cinema is something like a Rosetta Stone for his subsequent twice-told tales” (Dennis Lim).

Jason Sanders
  • Hong Sangsoo
  • Kim Hyung-koo
  • Kim Young-rho
  • Korean
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 89 mins
  • Arrow Video
  • American Genre Film Archive