Woman on the Beach

A lecherous film director stumbles through two love triangles in Hong Sang-soo's latest and most entertaining dissection of Korean romantic foibles, voted Best Undistributed Film of the Year in the 2006 Indiewire, ex–Village Voice critics' poll. The director Joong-rae heads for a rather downmarket seaside resort to overcome his writer's block, but finds more inspiration in battling his friend for the affections of the attractive music composer Moon-sook. The intelligent, self-aware Moon-sook is unlike any woman he's met before (indeed, she's unlike any of Hong's prior female characters), as she ably demonstrates once he turns his attention to another female. “Woman on the Beach is a deadpan, melancholy erotic comedy. The typical Hong situation-a callow thirtysomething male ambivalently woos a self-possessed if vulnerable woman-sounds like mid-period Woody Allen, but Hong's elliptical, riff-based humor, usually predicated on alcohol-induced disinhibition, is drier and more pointed” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice).

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