starring Ha Seong-guk, Kim Seung-yun, Shin Seokho
written and directed by Hong Sang-soo
by Walter Chaw I've been thinking a lot about my dad lately, It's the time of year when he died, and though I'm terrible with dates, my body seems to remember. I usually think my moods must have something to do with autumn and the change in the weather--but I love the autumn, the smell of rotten leaves, the halo around the moon, the chill. And then I remember. Korean master Hong Sang-soo reminds me of my dad, too. It's how he's so irritatingly self-assured, I think. So mulishly iconoclastic. My dad never really listened to anything anyone else told him. Sometimes that worked out for him; often it didn't. But the path of his life was defiantly his. My dad was learned, extraordinarily well-read in books written in languages I can't read, and tortured. He's been gone twenty years this year. Is it the "china" anniversary for death, as it is for marriage? Are the traditions the same, or do we fail to memorialize loss in the same way? My dad's death is almost old enough to drink. When I was much younger, I would ask him big questions--life, the universe, everything--and he would answer with quotations and philosophies: aphorisms, fables, poems. I don't remember anything about them except that they made me feel frustrated, mocked a little, and left to worry my thoughts alone like a cat with a tail of yarn. And now he's gone.