Sang-Soo Hong's latest film, In Another Country, centers around a Korean girl who has just learned of news which puts her life in a bit of crisis. A writer, with the intent to "calm her nerves", she sits down to write her next story about a french woman who visits Korea. A sorta film within a film, In Another Country is a three-tiered film in which this french woman embodies a film director, a wealthy housewife whose visiting from Seoul, and a recently separated woman. In Another Country showcases many of the same themes which are prevalent in Sang-Soo Hong's work with relationship dynamics being a major piece of the puzzle. As these three stories unfold, there is lots of repetition from one story to the next, as they visit the same locations and interact with the same people, particularly a buffoonish lifeguard, who is really the key to the story. Each of these three French woman share some form of connection with this lifeguard, who barely speaks english. Through these encounters Sang-Soo Hong focuses on the situational variables which dictate romance and intimacy, showing how while all these woman shared this unlikely bond, it's only recently divorced woman, who actually engages in intimacy. It's clear that these three characters are all a part of this young writer's persona, who seems to be attempting to grasp how her uncle and aunt's relationship went wrong through her writing. Sang-Soo Hong's style is very minimalistic but he does use a few well placed quick zooms as both a technique to draw attention to a particularly aspect of the frame and also as a transition technique. Sang-Soo Hong's In Another Country is a film about the interactions which exist between one and other and how relationships and intimacy through Sang-Soo Hong's eyes happens not by our own choice but when life itself decides.
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