Burning ★★★★½


Best movie of 2018 so far. 'Burning' is a genius piece of filmmaking.

The runtime is absolutely perfect for this film. The slow 'burn' (heh) totally fits with the slow deterioration of the main character's psyche and his obsessed paranoia.

This is one of the most beautiful films of the year so far (second to First Reformed). The long takes, stunning scenery, and sweeping angles don't show off - not enough to take your attention away from the story - but is still breathtaking enough to keep your eyes locked to the screen.

After the film, director Lee Chang-dong was asked "what were you doing for eight years?!". He said that he wasted a lot of time, but he also spent a lot of time thinking about what film is, what cinema can be - and he thinks he brought that forth with 'Burning'. I would agree with him. 'Burning' makes the viewer paranoid, skeptical, entranced, and most of all, compelled.

The main character was interesting to follow and was well acted, and the female lead was also great. But the shining performance came from Steven Yeun, as he delivers a complex and layered portrayal of 'Ben'. I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll just say that the chemistry between these three people is some of the best character moments of the year, and I was completely invested in every last second.

'Burning' is the best movie I've seen at the festival so far, and the best movie of 2018 so far.

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