Hotel By The River
A wintery riverside inn sets the stage for melancholia and unrequited desires in Hong Sang-soo’s gentle black-and-white drama.
Two strangers—an ageing poet and a lovelorn young woman—seek refuge in a provincial hotel. The poet is visited by his estranged sons, while the woman finds company in her best friend. In separate worlds that spill over occasionally, they each speak wryly and forlornly of the past, and of the complications of love.
Hotel by the River marks the prolific auteur Hong’s fifth feature in less than two years—an incredible output that owes itself to his uniquely fast style of filmmaking, which eschews detailed scripting and preparation in favour of instinct and improvisation. This, combined with his skilful casting, creates the distinctive blend of reality, fiction and candour that pervade the entirety of Hong’s oeuvre.
Cast & Credits
With 24 features made since 1996, Hong Sang-soo is one of South Korea’s foremost filmmakers. His recent works include Right Now, Wrong Then (2015), which won the Golden Leopard at Locarno Film Festival, and Yourself and Yours (2016) which clinched the award for Best Director at San Sebastian International Film Festival.
Ki Joo-bong, Kim Min-hee, Song Seon-mi
*In Competition, Golden Leopard, Locarno International Film Festival 2018
*Offiial Selection, Toronto Film Festival 2018