In Water

In Water ★★★★

Cinema as personal expression. Hong Sang-soo's In Water is a film about a film about the director. In Water is about filmmaking, specifically Hong's process and the way his real life seeps in front of the camera. No one plays with form in the way Hong does, just casually breaking cinematic convention for seemingly trivial reasons. In Water is shot almost entirely out of focus, placing the action on a blurry canvas that affords anonymity to the characters and makes the world seem more real, where fakery is obscured. In Water becomes a reflection of reality, or at least reality as it exists in Hong Sang-soo's world. This is a barebones movie, executed almost ad hoc and done on such a small scale. It seems cheap and spontaneous, though it's also clearly deliberate and structured. Only Hong Sang-soo would make In Water and that's why he remains one of the greatest directors of our time. Almost nobody else seems so free as a filmmaker, so able to be personal and so unbothered by expectation or the rules of cinema. Masterful.

2023 Ranked
Hong Sang-soo Ranked
My Top Films of the 2020s

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