The Day He Arrives

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The Day He Arrives
The Day He Arrives.jpg
Revised Romanization Bukchon Banghyang
McCune–Reischauer Pukch'on Panghyang
Directed by Hong Sang-soo
Produced by Kim Kyoung-hee
Written by Hong Sang-soo
Starring Yoo Jun-sang
Kim Sang-joong
Song Seon-mi
Kim Bo-kyung
Music by Jeong Yong-jin
Cinematography Kim Hyung-koo
Edited by Hahm Sung-won
Jeonwonsa Films
Distributed by Jeonwonsa Films
JoseE Films
Release date
  • 19 May 2011 (2011-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 8 September 2011 (2011-09-08) (South Korea)
Running time
79 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office US$320,421[1][2]

The Day He Arrives (Hangul북촌 방향; Hanja北村 方向; RRBukchon Banghyang; lit. "In the direction of Bukchon" or "Bukchon-bound") is a 2011 South Korean drama film written and directed by Hong Sang-soo.[3][4] The film is in black and white.[5] It premiered on 19 May 2011 in the Un Certain Regard section of the 64th Cannes Film Festival.[6] The film received 45,223 admissions on its domestic release.


Seong-jun heads to Seoul to meet a close friend who lives in Bukchon (North Village; Hangul북촌), Jongno District. When the friend does not answer his calls, Seong-jun wanders around Bukchon and runs into an actress he used to know. The two talk for a while but soon part. He makes his way down to Insa-dong and drinks makgeolli (rice wine) by himself. Some film students at another table ask him to join them—Seong-jun used to be a film director. He soon gets drunk and heads for his ex-girlfriend's house.

Unclear if it is the next day or some other day, Seong-jun is still wandering around Bukchon. He runs into the actress again. They talk and soon part. He eventually meets his friend and they head to a bar called Novel with a female professor his friend knows. The owner of the bar has a striking resemblance to Seong-jun's ex-girlfriend. He plays the piano for her.

Again unclear if it is the next day or some other day, Seong-jun goes to the Jeongdok Public Library with his friend and mentions that it was the first place he chased after a woman. Later, they have drinks with a former actor who had been doing business in Vietnam. The same female professor joins them and the four go to the bar called Soseol (lit. "Novel"). Seong-jun gets drunk and ends up kissing the owner of the pub.

Seong-jun may have spent a few days in Seoul with his friend, or it may still be his first day there. He may have learned something from the encounter with his ex-girlfriend, or may have to meet the woman who resembles her again, for the first time. As life presents itself in no more than today’s worth of time, Seong-jun also has no other choice than to face his "today".


  • Yoo Jun-sang as Seong-jun, a professor of film studies
  • Kim Sang-joong as Young-ho, a film critic and friend of Seong-jun
  • Song Seon-mi as Bo-ram, a professor of film studies
  • Kim Bo-kyung as Kyung-jin (Seong-jun's ex-girlfriend) / Ye-jeon (bar owner)
  • Kim Eui-sung as Joong-won, an ex-actor
  • Park Soo-min as an actress
  • Go Hyun-jung as a cinema fan
  • Gi Ju-bong as a producer
  • Baek Jong-hak as a director
  • Baik Hyun-jhin as a composer
  • Ahn Jae-hong as student 1
  • Bae Yoo-ram as student 2
  • Jeong Ji-hyeong as student 3


The Day He Arrives holds an 83/100 average on Metacritic.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bukchon Directions". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  2. ^ "The Day He Arrives (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  3. ^ Beck, Una (7 September 2011). "INTERVIEW: Director Hong Sang-soo - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  4. ^ Beck, Una (7 September 2011). "INTERVIEW: Director Hong Sang-soo - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  5. ^ "The Day He Arrives - Press Kit" (PDF) (in French). Finecut. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  6. ^ "Horaires 2011" (PDF) (in French). Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  7. ^ The Day He Arrives, retrieved 2017-11-18 

External links[edit]