As a complement to our earlier podcast with David Bordwell discussing Hill of Freedom and the cinema of Hong Sang-soo, episode 11 of Cinematalk takes a closer look at another superb and semi-autobiographical Hong feature, Woman on the Beach (2006).
In Woman on the Beach, a filmmaker travels to a sparsely populated seaside resort town to get some writing done on his next project. While seeking inspiration, he becomes romantically entangled with a pair of women—first his assistant’s companion, then a second woman who reminds him of the first. On the surface, this pair of overlapping love triangles appears to be one of Hong’s most breezily conventional films, but embedded within Woman on the Beach’s straightforward story is a trickier web of narrative rhymes and variations—a kind of Vertigo by way of Eric Rohmer—as its characters attempt to overcome their own preconceptions of one another.
Discussing Woman on the Beach on this episode of Cinematalk are Mike King and Zachary Zahos, both programmers for the Cinematheque and Wisconsin Film Festival. You can listen to the episode below or here on Soundcloud or subscribe through Apple Podcasts.