Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
Hong Sang-soo’s wry view of romantic misadventure draws ever closer to his own world in this latest film. Set at the Cannes Film Festival, Claire’s Camera was shot there in 2016, when lead actress Kim Min-hee and Isabelle Huppert were presenting The Handmaiden and Elle, respectively.
Kim plays Man-hee, a manager at a film sales company who is abruptly fired by her boss, ostensibly for dishonesty, though her drunken night with a filmmaker attending the festival may have been a factor. Claire (Huppert), a teacher from Paris, walks around La Croisette taking pictures with her polaroid camera. After she approaches Man-hee for a photo, the two form a friendship, amusingly conducted in halting English.
“Wisely turning her lens towards Man-hee, Isabelle Huppert’s Claire seeks to capture the arresting turmoil that actor Kim Min-hee so subtly expresses and which contributes a compelling wrinkle to Hong’s familiar themes. Both a loving homage to the film festival that has built Hong Sang-soo’s reputation and an accomplished work on its own terms, Claire’s Camera proves that its director’s talent can’t be fenced in by national borders.” — Bradley Warren, The Playlist