Right Now, Wrong Then

Jigeumeun matgo geuttaeneun teullida

Hong Sang-soo delivers a low-key charmer about a filmmaker, a painter, and a lot of Soju.

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Director Hong Sang-soo
Producer Kim Kyoung-hee
Screenwriter Hong Sang-soo
With Jung Jae-young, Kim Min-hee
South Korea 2015
121 mins
Sales Finecut

A highly regarded arthouse director, Ham Chunsu, visits a small town for a film festival screening and meets pretty young painter Yoon Heejung. They hang out and get drunk together. Repeat. Much of the pleasure in Hong Sang-soo’s work, the winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, is found in his complex approach to chronology and this film doubles back in time to revisit the couple’s interactions, illustrating how a few altered nuances of communication and behaviour can change the flavour of a new relationship. The premise may sound a little ‘inside baseball’, but the execution, as ever, is an unpredictable delight. More deliberately paced and melancholy than 2014’s Hill of Freedom, this one nevertheless offers much of Hong’s signature humour, particularly in questions around the nature of an artist’s ego (or lack thereof) and in Ham’s disgust at a terrible Q&A experience. It’s another low-key charmer full of wry observations on human foibles.

Kate Taylor