Hong Sang-soo says his Berlin competition film is about naturalism

SEOUL, 16 Feb. (Yonhap) — South Korean author Hong Sang-soo said Wednesday that his latest book, “The Novelist’s Film,” is meant to reflect on his writing and directing, and to experience a special process relatively naturalistic.

He told an official press conference at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival that the motivation for the latest film came from a short music video he shot on casual walks a few years ago.

“I had a play that was shot in the most natural setting. There was no script, no idea to express anything,” said the director-screenwriter. “I wanted to compare those kinds of sequences with people acting on a script that I gave.”

“The Novelist‘s Film” is Hong’s third consecutive film in competition at the Berlin festival after his two previous plays, “The Woman Who Ran” and “Introduction”, which won him the Silver Bear for Best Director and of the best scenario.

It has been listed as one of 18 films that will compete for the Golden and Silver Bears at the festival scheduled for February 10-16, with Francois Ozon’s “Peter von Kant” festival opener, “Return to Dust” by Li Ruijun and “The Line” by Ursula Meier

It is the 27th feature from the prolific director and revolves around Jun-hee (Lee Hye-young), a famous novelist on hiatus, who meets a famous actress named Kil-soo (Kim Min-hee) and shares some feelings. about art and filmmaking.

“I don’t think there is absolute naturalness. Even being alone in our own room, we don’t know if we can call it natural,” he said. “I don’t think I try to be really natural. I happen to be that kind of director. I like to see small details working on meaningful elements, so I’m relatively more natural.

Due to naturalism, he didn’t bother asking people to take off their face masks or remove any virus warnings or COVID-19 signs on the street during filming.

“It feels natural to me. We live in this time and there’s not a lot of intention,” said the director, who has also had roles as a writer, producer, photographer, editor and composer. in the movie. “A lot of little details happen in a scene. I scan them and look at them, and when I feel good, I let them exist in the scene.”

The 2022 Berlinale was held in person after an online event last year. Due to the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, however, its organizers rescheduled a seven-day festival from its original plan of a full 11-day event, with cinema seating capacity reduced to 50%.

It will conclude with the awards ceremony later today.

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