Hong Sang-soo is among the most prolific filmmakers in the world, and somehow manages to make each new film an event unto itself. “Hotel by the River” is his fifth film in the last two years — “On the Beach at Night Alone,” “Claire’s Camera,” “The Day After,” and “Grass” all preceded it on the festival circuit — and, like all of those earlier works, stars his creative and romantic partner Kim Min-hee (“The Handmaiden”).
After premiering at Locarno last summer, the black-and-white romantic comedy will soon be released theatrically. Watch the trailer below.
Here’s the synopsis: “Two tales intersect at a riverside hotel: an elderly poet (Ki Joo-bong), invited to stay there for free by the owner, summons his two estranged sons, sensing his life drawing to a close; and a young woman (Kim Min-hee) nursing a recently broken heart is visited by a friend who tries to console her. At times these threads overlap, at others they run tantalizingly close to each other. Using a stark black-and-white palette and handheld cinematography (with frequent DP Kim Hyung-ku), Hong crafts an affecting examination of family, mortality, and the ways in which we attempt to heal wounds old and fresh.”
Hong and Kim first worked together on “Right Now, Wrong Then,” causing a scandal when they admitted their relationship, as Hong was married at the time. The film opens exclusively at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on February 15 courtesy of Cinema Guild, which has worked with Hong many times in the past.