Director Martin Scorsese introduces the film Woman is the Future of Man to viewers of the DVD as a great example of South Korean cinema. It’s high praise coming from the director of films like Goodfellas, The Departed and Raging Bull. But at the end of this film by korean director Hong Sang-soo, I was left wondering if I had just watched something totally different from what was described by Scorsese in his intro. Yes, I understand the director Hong’s minimalist approach to film-making but I think he was asking way too much from the audience here. The main characters are total scumbags, the dialogue is bland and the cinematography is basically of the point and shoot variety. It’s a story of 2 old friends that meet up after years apart. They get drunk, reminisce about a lost love and then set out to confront the past. the director chose to avoid any close ups of the actors. So much of the time we see the actors perform in a static “wide shot” view. now this makes it a bit tough on the viewer to connect with the characters when you can’t get a good view of their faces. also the static camera work doesn’t leave much for the viewer to look at. There’s also not much contrast between flashbacks and the present so it was a bit tough to follow at first. But the main problem was the story. There wasn’t much of one. The director just plops you into these characters lives for thirty hours or so and then ends the film. No character development, no lessons learned and no point to be taken. minimalist, indeed! the story does a quick left turn during the last quarter of the film and then just simply ends. so what are we left with? hhhmmmm, let’s see… some random flashbacks, some non-descript dialogue between the main characters, some shouting, two awkward non-sexy sex scenes, drunk-foo, blow job-foo and a film with no conclusion. Sorry, Mr. Scorsese, I think you picked the wrong Korean film to endorse. it’s two-thumbs down for me.
woman is the future of man
watch Martin Scorsese’s intro to the film on youtube