Tale of Cinema (Geuk jang jeon) and Lost in the Mountains (Cheopcheopsanjung)

Dir. Hong Sang-soo. 2005, 89 mins. 35mm. With Kim Sang-kyung, Uhm Ji-won, Lee Ki-woo. Tale of Cinema, made with a diptych structure and a rug-pulling narrative shift, is concerned with the fallout of arbitrary everyday decisions, and the function of cinema as memory written in light. As his holiday begins, forlorn college student Jeon walks down a side street and encounters his ex-, Choi, with whom he makes a suicide pact. But when the focus shifts to filmmaker Kim leaving a cinema behind Choi, the earlier section is radically recontextualized as a film-within-a-film, an attempt by Kim to relive and replay past mistakes. This crystallization of themes developed in Hong’s previous works and something of a thesis on his filmmaking practice is marked by an increased exploration of the expressive possibilities of the zoom lens.

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