Not everyone can respond to marital scandal with a beautifully crafted film contemplating the complexities of contemporary love and marriage, but if anyone could do it, it’s Hong Sangsoo. In “On the Beach at Night Alone,” the beloved South Korean auteur used to his own extra-marital affair with the actress Kim Minhee (“The Handmaiden”) as fodder for a devastating and bittersweet character study. In the first trailer for the latest effort from the prolific filmmaker, Minhee electrifies the screen as a fictionalized version of herself.
The actress’ affair with Sangsoo caused a tabloid frenzy in Korea, and the intimate collaboration between actress and director is the closest thing to a public statement the duo likely will ever make about the scandal. In his B+ review of the film, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote called it “a fascinating sublimation of autobiography into Hong’s precise creative terms, a bittersweet character study as poignant, witty and deceptively slight as much of his work that also refurbishes it with a unique personal dimension.”
“On the Bech at Night Alone” opens in New York City on November 17 at Film Society of Lincoln Center and Metrograph. Watch the trailer below: