Pup-lip-deul (Grass) 2018 Ages 15+
7.45PM Wed 16 Jan 2019 (1hr 6mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
‘The black-and-white Grass is a deceptively potent entry in the [director’s] canon, a thimbleful of purest, concentrated Hong-brand soju.
A young woman, Mina (Gong Minjeung), slides into a booth opposite Hongsoo (Ahn Jaehong). She tells him she’s embarking on a trip to Europe, though that later turns out to be false. They exchange pleasantries that turn unpleasant when the topic shifts to a deceased mutual friend and Mina insists they both bear some degree of responsibility. Blame also arises a table over when the demure-looking Sunghwa (frequent Hong ensemble player Seo Younghua) is accused of causing the suicide of a well-regarded professor. An opportunistic, past-his-prime actor (Ki Joobong) tries to inveigle himself into an old acquaintance’s apartment, and the inevitable Hong-surrogate filmmaker (Jung Jinyoung) is rebuffed by writer Jiyoung (Kim Saebyuk) when he asks to partner up on a screenplay.
In shifting permutations, these people end up staying late into the night, all the while observed by Areum, played by Hong’s muse, Kim Minhee, who sits mostly alone at a window table, frowning at her laptop. For a time we can almost wonder if the conversations on which she’s eavesdropping are really happening or if they’re manifestations of what she’s writing.
Outside the cafe, in a small planter, grass grows upward and time moves forward. But inside Hong’s flat-lit proscenium, the characters are unglued from time mired in a boozy, shapeshifting now, in which they can endlessly experience the mystery and miracle of other people and all the things we cannot know about them.’ Variety
HD VIDEO, BLACK AND WHITE, STEREO, 66 MINUTES, SOUTH KOREA, KOREAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: HONG SANG-SOO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: KIM HYUNG-KOO / EDITOR: SON YEON-JI / PRODUCTION CO: JEONWONSA FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FINECUT / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP