The Day a Pig Fell into the Well ★★★½

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Hong Sangsoo’s debut is most strikingly different from his later work in its bleakness and formal conventionality¹. He hasn’t adopted the zoom yet, nor is he rigidly adhering to the master shot aesthetic either: there are insert shots, over the shoulder perspectives, single dinner scenes cut into multiple camera angles - too close and too canted, dissolves, overhead shots and simplistic but expressive uses of light and shadow. The bleakness comes from the male characters, as awful as any he’s ever made, their sins not just venal but erupting in violence, and not of the comic variety: the film is largely without humor.

Review at The Chinese Cinema.