Tale of Cinema
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by Dennis Lim
In the fourth title of Fireflies Press Decadent Editions series, Dennis Lim explores the oeuvre of South Korean auteur Hong Sangsoo via his 2005 film.
‘With Hong Sangsoo less is more. Less time to shoot, fewer explanations, fewer people on set – more inspiration, more cinema. Working with him (twice) counts among my most rewarding experiences as an actress. Every day was a miracle. Camera movements, frames, dialogues, costumes – Dennis Lim’s brilliant book shows us that, with Hong, it is about getting to what’s essential. Poetry, humour, emotion.’ Isabelle Huppert
‘To discuss the entirety of Hong Sangsoo’s oeuvre, which spans some thirty titles, Dennis Lim decided to focus on one. Lim loves and knows Hong’s work thoroughly, and the film he chose is the crystal in which all the others are reflected. Here is the best gateway into the Hong multiverse.’ Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
‘Dennis Lim deconstructs one by one the usual tropes assigned to Hong’s mise en scène and illuminates other paths to think anew about a filmmaker who stays in constant and elusive movement. Tale of Cinema is both insightful and humorous, a pleasure to read, and a wicked invitation to keep on deciphering Hong Sangsoo’s irreconcilable geometries of love and friendship.’ Matías Piñeiro
About the film
Forty minutes in, we realise we’ve been watching a film within the film. The ‘real’ characters leave the cinema and find themselves reenacting what they just saw, as a chance encounter invites a suicide pact. Is it life imitating art, or the other way around?
About the author
Dennis Lim is a film curator, teacher, and writer. He is currently the Artistic Director of the New York Film Festival and was Director of Programming at Film at Lincoln Center from 2013 to 2022. His previous book David Lynch: The Man From Another Place (2015) has been translated into three languages.