The Day After

gotta say that I much prefer Hong in this moralist-intellectual mode: his straight-up comedies are lovely collections of simple pleasures but they take on ethical weight only because of their position in a much larger structure (hardly a novel observation, but bear with me), whereas this film operates on a more immediately intelligible plane but retains the light touch of his earlier work. he also drops the overt metatextuality, allowing the world(s) to be structured and restructured by the actions and speech of the characters rather than imposing an authorial rigor. not as compact or dense as Grass, but maybe the diffuse nature is required for the humanistic moments here to land. a humble, lonely, and generous effort.

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