hahaha

One question dogged my mind during the screening of this seemingly effortless gem: what took filmmaker Hong Sang-soo and actress Moon So-riso long to work together? When two artists at the peak of their creative powers get together, the resulting collaboration can fit so seamlessly as to make us forget the virtuoso talent involved. Hahaha is one of Hong’s simplest in terms of formal construction — two male friends get together for drinks and discuss their romantic adventures in coincidental flashbacks. Hong’s art of depicting the mundane is so masterfully tuned that it is almost as if he no longer needs a complex narrative format. An artful depiction of the ennui that is life itself turns out not to be ennui. Hong simply finds his inspiration from the countless minutiae that populate our collective memory. And though many accomplished actors have given up guarantees for the privilege of working with Korea’s top auteur, no one else has been able to portray his female characters with the consummate naturalness of Moon So-ri.