Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
Hong Sang-soo’s latest is a characteristically sly farce of feckless men and hopeful women and nudges his usual dextrous juggling with narrative time into the twilight zone.
“One of the loveliest, lightest films at Cannes this year, pensive yet often swept by quiet pleasures, was Hong Sang-soo’s delicately surreal The Day He Arrives. It is a sparser Groundhog Day done by Hong, in black and white and with copious alcohol. A young retired film director returns to Seoul and decides to meet his old friend, and before, during and after that encounter he runs into numerous other filmmakers – this surreal Seoul seems populated nearly entirely by production crew – drunkenly looks up his ex-girlfriend, and hangs around a bar whose owner looks exactly like – and indeed is played by the same actress as – his ex. And then the next day comes, and it proceeds with déjà vu echoes as the previous one, yet with different turns of each encounter.” — Daniel Kasman, Mubi.com