Broker (2022)

I am slightly exaggerating but I can easily identify Kore-eda’s movies by how the light touches people’s faces. It’s lonely but warm, and realistic yet soft. And this mood of light resembles how the camera looks at the characters in his movies. <Broker> had a thicker plot than his previous movies but the message and […]

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (2017)

I probably have listened to “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” easily a thousand times, probably even more, in various versions. Ryuichi Sakamoto is one of the composers whose music provided great comfort and consolation in my adolescent years. And I am probably not the only one who feels this way about his music. Several years ago […]

Corsage (2022)

What does it mean for a person to be truly free? Corsage (not the flower arrangement but the German word for “corset”) explores the idea by telling a story of a historic figure, Empress Elisabeth of Austria. While watching the movie, I realized that it didn’t matter whether the movie was faithful to historical facts […]

Happy Hour (2015)

Ryusuke Hamaguchi once said he doesn’t believe there is no such thing as pure fiction or pure documentary. In a way, <Happy Hour> represents this philosophy of his. Thanks to the quiet camera work and the sheer length of the movie (5 hours), the characters are fully realized and so realistic that even after the […]

Nope (2022)

The relationship between camera and object is complicated. In the movie <Nope>, this relationship seems to be about consumption of ideas and images. The movie starts with a dark square-shaped tunnel that shows a Black jockey on a galloping horse. Later in the movie, this tunnel turned out some sort of an organ of a […]

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020)

Depicting historic events in an art form is not an easy challenge. For movies, directors have to walk the fine line between over-dramatizing/-fictionalizing and being didactic or documentary-like. They also have very little room in terms of the plot because the events already occurred. Regardless of these challenges, <Quo Vadis, Aida?> rises to the top. […]

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

In my teenage years, I practically grew up with Joe Hisaishi’s music including the soundtrack of <My Neighbor Totoro>. I’ve always loved the soundtrack but I was never really interested in watching the movie. I just thought the synopsis sounded too simple and plain; a story of two young girls and their interaction with a […]

Stowaway (2021)

This movie is about moral dilemma and survival in space. In terms of the latter, it has some scenes that reminded me of The Martian (2015) and Gravity (2013). Thanks to the great cast, the element of moral dilemma was also portrayed in a decent way but the problem is that the movie tried packing […]

Promising Young Woman (2020)

Promising Young Woman is a flashy (not as much as Lady Vengeance) revenge film but it’s not a typical one. In contrast to many vengeance films where the main motivation originates from loss of close family members, usually spouses or children, this is about friendship. Also, it looks violent and yet Cassie definitely has a […]

Minari (2020)

It’s been several months since I watched the movie. It was very difficult to write about Minari soon after I first watched it. As a first generation Korean immigrant living in the US, there were numerous scenes in the movie, which conjured up my memories and emotions. Because everything felt so personal, it was difficult […]