Tale of Cinema ★★★½

A filmic life becomes a real life, except it goes too far. The film works partially on three layers that define its three act structure. There is the short film, the man reflecting on the film and trying to re-create it in some ways, and finally the revelation (perhaps a lie) that the man was already the reality reflected onto film. Either way, life repeats itself no matter what, and man will always make the same mistakes – caught up in what was and how it could instead be. This was the film Hong introduced his now iconic zoom lens, and it’s a fitting element. Hong’s realities are just as artificial as his films; they reflect characters trying to manipulate their real lives to reflect the films they want. They only see the reality they want to see (or to quote HaHaHa, see “only the good”), instead of the reality that is so obviously present – the subtle critique instead of the full-fledged endorsement. “I don’t think you really understood the film,” the actress tells him after he moves closer and closer toward completely embracing the fiction, almost oblivious to the fact his (real) friend is dying. He’s always dying on the inside – running to the top of a building to throw himself off, but really waiting to see if anyone will follow. Every man needs his audience.

Shout out to the visible Shark Tale poster.