The Day He Arrives (2011)

북촌방향 / Book chon bang hyang
Feature Film | Drama | South Korea | Korean | 1h19m
Dir: Hong Sang-soo | Scr: Hong Sang-soo | Ph: Kim Hyung-ku | Prod: Kim Kyoung-hee | Mus: Jeong Yong-jin | Ed: Hahm Sung-won | Cast: Yu Jun-sang, Kim Sang-jung, Song Seon-mi, Kim Bo-kyung, Baek Jong-Hak

A former film-maker, now working as a teacher in the countryside, goes to Seoul unannounced to visit an old friend, and spends his time there drinking, flirting, smoking, and recriminating, in Hong’s unconventionally structured, yet witty and touching, (existential) slice-of-life drama. The performances are all excellent, with Yu’s central turn proving particularly affecting. However, it is the bafflingly unheralded Korean auteur’s dreamily unreliable narrative structure that most sets it apart from other similarly themed works.