HOTEL BY THE RIVER (GANGBYUN HOTEL)
During an extended stay along the Han River, an aging poet hounded by disturbing visions of his own mortality invites his two grown sons to visit. Down the hall in another room, a younger woman aids her friend in nursing the still-fresh wounds of a breakup. In this simmering and melancholic drama from the unstoppably prolific Hong Sang-soo, the snowy refuge becomes a limbo for these lost souls whose splintered paths intersect in ways that should surprise even the most die-hard Hong fans. Lensed in stark black and white, this unique addition to Hong's canon features mesmerizing performances from his regular stable of actors, including Kim Min-hee, Kwon Hae-hyo and Ki Joo-bong as the hapless poet, whose delicate and soulful performance won him Best Actor at the Locarno Film Festival. – Jesse Knight
Renowned for his unique use of cinematographic language, Hong Sang-soo is considered one of the most established auteurs in contemporary Korean cinema. His films have regularly played AFI FEST, including: THE DAY HE ARRIVES (2011), IN ANOTHER COUNTRY (2012), YOURSELF AND YOURS (2016), THE DAY AFTER (2017), CLAIRE'S CAMERA (2017) and HOTEL BY THE RIVER (2018).
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