Hotel by the River ★★★★½

Hong Sang-soo writes a poem, he makes it up as he goes. Things repeat, rhyming over and over. His poem is confined by one premise, but  he finds ways to vary each verse. People talk and drink in each line, finding new ways to discuss the same topics of relationships and art. The background is a bright white, captured as simply as possible. The topics covered are self-aware of his work, and he only writes about his own work. Mentions of affairs, divorces, and film directing reveal it as personal. Hotel by the River is death-centred, a variation on purgatory perhaps. The poem is performed by just six actors and everything is hosted by a mysterious hotel owner. Hong Sang-soo writes a poem, he doesn't know how it ends.

2018 Ranked