On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong Sang-soo)


Sangsoo’s most emotionally resonant film builds from nothing and shares its impact in thoughts to come rather than thoughts present when watching the film. For some time, like many of Hong’s film’s, the quotidian is represented through mundane detail, seemingly detached from narrative sensibilities. You don’t quite know the point of it all, and it ends as simplistically and detached as it begins.

But something remains: a feeling for the music, a sympathy for the character, a wonderment for dream and desire. In its rich sparsity and detached affectations–this is Hong pairing Bresson and Kieslowski–it is austere yet devoted, and nuanced beyond measure.

On reflection, the film is grander both philosophically and emotionally than his average film, with a certain depth often missing from his lighter fares. The instances of regret and loneliness, tenderly romanced for the sweetness which memory transforms these feelings into, are pure and ephemeral as one’s therapeutic dissolve into the secret space of dreams.

93/100 – Amazing.

5 Stars


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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