On the Beach at Night Alone

2017

Drama

129
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2,834

Synopsis


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May 11, 2020

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
923.7 MB
1280*720
Korean 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
101 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.85 GB
1920×1080
Korean 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
101 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by guy-bellinger 8 / 10 / 10

Korean Bergman

Sang-soo Hong, South Korea's most famous film director, besides having a long and well-stocked career (24 works, long or short, since 1996) is an international film festival fixture. An admirer of Eric Rohmer, he is noted - like his master - for his dislike of gratuitous effects and for his knack for depicting every day relations. On the other hand he is sometimes criticized for always making the same film, in the same environment (Seoul, its streets and... restaurants!) and for indulging in superficial marivaudage. Sure, his stories almost always address the subject of love but the Korean director is definitely not a mere illustrator of the grand maneuvers of amorous seduction. A minimum of attention makes it glaringly evident: there is always more to his characters than just one trying to lure another into their bed. True, his characters all have sex drive but they also have a brain, a heart and... many defects! Agreed, there is often a light comedy tone to his works (well exemplified by 'The Day After', one of his latest efforts) but, although very good at the genre, the director is more ambitious than just that. Bringing smiles is obviously one of his strong points but in his case, humor serves above all as a springboard for more serious matters. If you are not content with a superficial look, you soon realize that the Korean master's agenda (hidden or not) consists in examining such weighty topics as the meaning of life, human behavior, social relationships, and naturally art - particularly cinema and literature... Everybody knows that Marivaux and Rohmer did not deal only with mating, well... nor does Hong. And as for "always making the same film", haven't the self-appointed prosecutors heard of variations on a theme? What else do Fellini, Bergman, Woody Allen do? Hong does not repeat himself, he simply has a universe and motifs of his own: yes, his heroes are mainly intellectuals, but what is wrong about featuring those he mixes with and accordingly knows best, all the more since brainy ones - by definition - think (even if they often do it badly) and give depth to the stories told. Yes, the scene is often set in Seoul, but not exclusively so: if you take the Hong train, you will also travel to Kangwon Province, Juju Island, Shinduri, Tongyeong, Gangneung, Paris, Trouville, Hamburg, Cannes... "On the Beach Alone at Night", the work we are concerned here with, is an excellent illustration of my assertions. The story once again involves a film director (Sang Soo Hong is easily recognizable in the dream sequence as a tortured creator, who like his equivalent in real life is having a complicated love affair with actress Min-Hee Kim). And there is another of these hearty meals with plenty of beer and other spirits the director is a specialist of, but besides the fact that this kind of set-piece is as eagerly awaited by Hong enthusiasts as their equivalent in Hitchcock, Sautet or Chabrol films, they are always both hilarious and profound; side-splitting because loss of inhibition engendered by alcohol induces the characters to act foolishly; deep as liquor makes them spout (cruel) truths they usually keep unexpressed. In "On the Beach alone", there is not one but two of such meal sequences and they are amusing to compare. The second one, set in Gangneung is the classic Hong meal sequence : a group of "friends" laugh and make cutting remarks, especially the charming, well-educated, usually reserved heroin. The members of the group composed of people who had great expectations but driven by circumstances to lower their ambitions laugh at each other and instead of easing the atmosphere rub salt in the wounds. Earlier in the film, Yeong-hee, the actress, has lunch with a German couple in Hamburg. How different the atmosphere is then. In the company of a well-meaning, sensible, health-oriented, water-drinking German couple, no barbs are hurled but on the other hand the atmosphere remains awfully stiff and nothing of importance is exchanged.For Hong, perfection is obviously synonymous with dullness. The sure thing is that « Alone on the Beach » is anything but superficial. It is first and foremost the superb portrait of a woman who, despite her young age, finds herself at a crossroads. Having had, because of a scandalous affair with her director, to withdraw from the screen, the charming Yeong Hee wanders aimlessly throughout the story in a state quiet desperation, close to outright hopelessness, examining her life, her love story, the meaning of it all with no compromise, including in a surprising nightmare sequence. As for Hong, he lives up to the Bergman-like ambition of his project (although with a lighter touch than the Swedish master), proving both a consummate painter of melancholy and great woman's director. From the refreshing initial sequences in Hamburg (when Yeaong-hee still hopes her lover will come to see her) to the darker (and at times humorously dark) ones set in Korea, the writer-director aptly manages to make the audience connect with the young woman, making their own her states of heart and mind. He could not be served better than by Min-hee Kim, as engaging as she is beautiful, never putting on a show. On the contrary, she is herself and touches us all the more for that. The actress is well surrounded by Hong regulars, among whom Hae-hyo Kwon (as an old friend) or Sung-keun Noon (as the lover-director). « Alone on the Beach at Night » is accordingly - and definitely - one of Song-soo Hong's major works and is therefore, recommended.

Reviewed by bandw 5 / 10 / 10

I liked the music

This story of a young Korean woman, Young-hee, trying to come to terms with breaking up with her lover never rose above the pedestrian for me. There is essentially no action beyond conversation. After her breakup Young-hee goes to Germany to visit her friend Jee-young. A good part of the time spent with these two friends is concerned with wondering if Young-hee's lover will show up and with Young-hee's struggle of being torn between thoughts of her lover and her desire for independence. Young-hee returns to Korea where she takes up with some old acquaintances and carries on conversations with them that struck me as conversations typical of interactions among any middle class people. The climactic scene at the dinner table closes with a reading from a Chekhov story. The story was appropriate in context, but that's taking an easy way out isn't it? When you cannot come up with your own writing, fall back on that of a famous writer? Young-hee is far from likable--on more than one occasion she lashes out bitterly at her companions. Most of the men are pretty much cyphers; it was hard for me to get involved with any of them. There are some interesting filming techniques. I liked the use of the large camera pans and the shifts in focus. There is a scene that had one of Young-hee's friends picking rocks out of some pounds of dried beans. Maybe this was to show that the guy was subservient to the cafe manager, but it puzzled me as to why so much time would be spent on such a mundane task. Then there are scenes that are just plain odd--like the acrobatic window cleaner who dominated one scene and was there for a purpose that escaped me. And there is the man in a black overcoat whose main scene has him asking for the time of day. What was that all about? The adagio from Schubert's C-major string quintet accompanies several scenes and did not particularly enhance the emotion of those scenes, beyond being a most beautiful work. This is my first exposure to director Hong. I have the feeling that he may be an acquired taste--a taste that I have yet to acquire.

Reviewed by csbaka 5 / 10 / 10

The Fall of Love

Korean movie star, Young-hee played with some fire by Min-hee Kim has an affair with a married director. She seems to be rather lost as the affair ends as she vacations in Hamburg Germany. As the film progresses she goes about with her friends back in South Korea to pick up the pieces. The film is strictly a stream of conciousnous story with Young-hee coming off the breakup with a very sharp tongue and demeaner. There are many conversations and Young-hee and the director do finally meet in the movie, but it's bittersweet. At times she begins to rant, she's very angry, but I didn't see the film as most reviewed it, I don't think it was about the director. I see him only as a catalyst to Young-hee who questions have outstripped her answers. In the end I believe it was more her doing than his. He seemed to have been caught in her vortex. She feels lost but at that edge is something far more. Outside of common reason, she'll have to find her way back if that's her intention. This isn't a movie that most would jump for, be sure you enjoy a more sedate and introspective film before jumping in. Mostly talk and ideas. 5 out of 10 Neat to see a Korean woman in film with large questions and serious results.

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