Hong Sang-soo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hong Sang-soo
Hong Sang-soo Photo Call The Beach at Night Alone Berlinale 2017.jpg
Hong Sang-soo in 2017 at Berlinale
Born (1960-10-25) 25 October 1960 (age 61)
Seoul, South Korea
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1996–present
(m. 1985; sep. 2016)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHong Sang-su
McCune–ReischauerHong Sangsu

Hong Sang Soo (홍상수, born 25 October 1960) is a South Korean film director and screenwriter.

Early life[edit]

Hong's parents owned the film production company Cinetel Soul.[3] Hong took the entrance exam and entered the theater department at Chung-Ang University in South Korea. He then studied in the United States where he received his bachelor's degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his master's at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.[4][5][6]


Hong made his directorial debut at age 35 with The Day a Pig Fell into the Well in 1996. Woman is the Future of Man (2004) was his first film to screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.[3]

Hong's films have also screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival.[7]

He has received the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for Hahaha, the Silver Leopard Award for Best Director at the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival for Our Sunhi, and the Golden Leopard at the 2015 Locarno International Film Festival for Right Now, Wrong Then. His 2020 film The Woman Who Ran won him the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.[8]

Film style[edit]

There are certain elements that are commonly found in Hong's films. A typical Hong film highlights a theme of domestic realism with many of the scenes set on residential streets, cafes, hotels, schools, and in the stairwells of apartment buildings.[3] Characters in the film are seen walking around the city, drinking soju, and having sex. The main characters in his films are often movie directors or actors, and scenes typically consist of a single shot, often beginning and ending with a camera zoom. The budgets for his movies average about $100,000.[7]

Hong is often spontaneous when shooting, delivering the day's scene on the morning of the shoot and frequently changing stories while on set.[3] He rarely prepares scripts in advance. Hong instead begins with a basic guideline and writes his scenes on the morning of the filming day, making changes throughout the day.[7] Hong starts the filming day at 4 a.m. when he begins to write the dialogue for that day's shoot.[5] Hong also develops close relationships with the actors over alcohol and cigarettes and sometimes shoots certain scenes while the actors are under the influence.[9]

Hong's style has been compared to Eric Rohmer's, and it has even been argued that allusions to Rohmer's films appear in some films directed by Hong.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 2016, Hong was reported to be having an extramarital affair with actress Kim Min-hee, who appeared in his 2015 film, Right Now, Wrong Then.[11] Hong admitted to the affair in March 2017, at the Seoul premiere of On the Beach at Night Alone. He filed a divorce suit from his wife in December 2016, but the court rejected his request in June 2019, insisting that only the injured party, Hong's wife, could initiate a legal separation.[12][13]


Feature films[edit]

Year Film Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
1996 The Day a Pig Fell into the Well Yes Yes
1998 The Power of Kangwon Province Yes Yes
2000 Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors Yes Yes
2002 On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate Yes Yes
2004 Woman Is the Future of Man Yes Yes
2005 Tale of Cinema Yes Yes
2006 Woman on the Beach Yes Yes
2008 Night and Day Yes Yes
2009 Like You Know It All Yes Yes
2010 Hahaha Yes Yes Yes
Oki's Movie Yes Yes Yes
2011 The Day He Arrives Yes Yes Yes
2012 In Another Country Yes Yes Yes
2013 Nobody's Daughter Haewon Yes Yes Yes
Our Sunhi Yes Yes Yes
2014 Hill of Freedom Yes Yes Yes
2015 Right Now, Wrong Then Yes Yes Yes
2016 Yourself and Yours Yes Yes Yes
2017 On the Beach at Night Alone Yes Yes Yes
Claire's Camera Yes Yes Yes
The Day After Yes Yes Yes
2018 Grass Yes Yes Yes
Hotel by the River Yes Yes Yes
2020 The Woman Who Ran Yes Yes Yes
2021 Introduction Yes Yes Yes
In Front of Your Face Yes Yes Yes Screened in the Cannes premiere

Short films[edit]

Year Film Segment Credited as
Director Writer
2009 Jeonju Digital Project: Visitors Lost in the Mountains Yes Yes
2011 List Yes Yes
2013 Venice 70: Future Reloaded 50:50 Yes Yes


National awards[edit]

International awards[edit]

State honors[edit]

Name of country, year given, and name of honor
Country Year Honor Ref.
South Korea[note 1] 2011 Presidential Commendation [18]


  1. ^ Honors are given at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, arranged by the Korea Creative Content Agency and hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.[15][16] They are awarded to those who have contributed to the arts and South Korea's pop culture.[17]


  1. ^ "Director Files for Divorce Over May–September Romance". Chosunilbo.
  2. ^ "Director Hong Sang-soo fails to settle divorce, going to court". Hancinema.net.
  3. ^ a b c d Carew, Anthony (2015). "Expectedly unexpected: Repetition and understatement in the films of Hong Sang-Soo". Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine (186): 82–87. ISSN 0312-2654. OCLC 7128543000.
  4. ^ "Alum's Film Wins Top Prize at Jerusalem Film Festival". School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b Lopate, Phillip (7 December 2017). "The Discreet Charm of Hong Sang-soo". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. ^ ""Hill of Freedom"". SFFILM. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Rapold, Nicolas (17 May 2017). "Films of Hong Sang-soo Capture Pleasures and Pratfalls of Attraction". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  8. ^ Meza, Ed (29 February 2020). "'There Is No Evil' Wins Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  9. ^ Marshall, Colin (11 June 2013). "The Films of Sangsoo Hong". Quarterly Conversation. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  10. ^ Marco Grosoli, “Moral Tales from Korea: Hong Sang-Soo and Eric Rohmer,” Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies 3 (2010), 95–108.
  11. ^ Kim, Kristen Yoonsoo (26 April 2019). "In the Maze of Love: Hong Sang-soo and Kim Min-hee's Intricate Tales of Romance". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Court dismisses filmmaker Hong Sang-soo's divorce suit". Korea Times. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  13. ^ Agent France Press (14 June 2019). "Film Director Cannot Divorce Wife Over Affair, Rules Court". NDTV.com. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Korean director Hong Sang-soo wins best screenplay for 'Introduction' at Berlin film fest". Korea Times. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  15. ^ Hicap, Jonathan (18 October 2018). "BTS, Red Velvet win at Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  16. ^ Yeo, Yer-im (25 October 2018). "BTS gets award upon their return home". Yonhap News Agency. Archived from the original on 7 November 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2021 – via Korea JoongAng Daily.
  17. ^ Lee, Sang-won (25 October 2016). "Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards announces winners". The Korea Herald. Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  18. ^ 대중문화예술상 2011년 [2011 Popular Culture and Arts Awards]. Korea Creative Content Agency (in Korean). Archived from the original on 12 July 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2021.

External links[edit]