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NYFF: Night and Day

NYFF: Night and Day

Hong Sang-soo’s latest, Night and Day, opens by misdirecting its audience with a credit sequence scored to the allegretto movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (a classical favorite usually employed more obviously in movie trailers, as in The Fall earlier this year). It’s an ominously building epic the exact opposite in tone and thrust to Hong’s quiet, anti-momentum approach to cinema, but that the director returns to No. 7 throughout Night and Day clues us into the surging importance he attaches to what at first glance appears to be the rather ordinary tale of Sung-nam (Yeong-ho Kim), a struggling middle-aged painter who escapes his dead-end life in Korea for a new one in Paris. Sung-nam’s on the lam for pot possession, but any hopes the City of Lights will be a relaxing safe haven are instantly put to rest in the film’s first exchange, in which a Frenchman threateningly stares at Sung-nam after bumming a cigarette and warns him to be careful. Of what, he’s never told.

Click here to read the rest of Michael Joshua Rowin’s review.

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