When I saw that Hong Sangsoo’s latest film The Day He Arrives was on the press list for hold-reviews at the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, I was excited because such means a release is likely eminent. Little did I know that The Day He Arrives would be arriving so quickly to San Francisco screens after at least one sold out screening at SFIFF.
Starting Friday May 4th, The Day He Arrives will have an exclusive San Francisco engagement at the SF Film Society Center found in the basement of New People on Post Street in the Japantown District. And since I’m a huge fan of Hong and since his repetition of people, spaces, dialogue, and themes is part of what I enjoy about his work, where he creates a luminescent mobius strip of faulty memories in my mind, I plan to try and see a screening everyday of its 7-day run. This won’t be my first time watching the film. Anxious to see it as soon as possible, I’d flown out to Denver to watch The Day He Arrives at the Starz Denver Film Festival late last year with Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee proprietor Peter Nellhous. Unaware of the hold-review request then, I posted my thoughts at Koreanfilm.org.
The chance to watch a single Hong film on screen for seven days in a row is a rare treat that I can’t pass up. I’ll be posting my daily re-visits with The Day He Arrives here at VCinema, so watch this space.
[Two notes – 1) I’ve had the pleasure to hang out with Hong a few times, and during one of those visits over Peet’s coffee in Pacific Heights, he told me he prefers that his given name, Sangsoo, be written in romanized script without the hyphen. This is why I’m going against the standard with Korean given names here and typing it sans hyphen. 2) In a few short weeks, The Day He Arrives will no longer be Hong’s latest film. His 13th feature-length film In Another Country, which includes a tripartite role for French actress Isabelle Huppert, will be competing for the Palmd d’Or this year at Cannes in mid-May. ]