Hong Sang-soo’s quartet of short linked films features three characters—a young man, a young woman, and an older man—who study or work in the film department of a university. Each short reveals a little of the relationship between these characters, from different viewpoints, and mostly in retrospect.
Running through the quartet is the theme of filmmaking itself and the accompanying uncertainty of being able to realise one’s intentions within the medium (and the world outside it). This draws us into the fourth film where the young woman, Oki (Jung Yu-mi), presents a movie she has made in an attempt to assemble her own experiences at selected points in her recent life.
Overall, the linked films are unadorned in style: quiet, minimal, observational (perhaps this reviewer looks on these qualities a little too favourably generally), but they do make for a good disguise when the tone becomes darker, or poignant, particularly during two separate instances of question and answer sessions.
It is partly in these last-mentioned, unassuming scenes that the threads running through the films reveal the skill and intricacy of their pattern—when they separate off into two snowy walks concluding the quartet, it is a gently reflective parting. For this reason and at this time, with all the dazzling pictures currently nearing the finishing line of their season, OKI’S MOVIE may well be a sight for sore eyes.
OKI's MOVIE aka OK-HUI-UI YEONGHWA played Toronto and Venice 2010 and went on release in South Korea in 2010 and in France in 2011.