LIKE YOU KNOW IT ALL (JAL ALJIDO MOT HAMYEONSUH) (Hong Sang-soo, 2009)
Museum of the Moving Image
35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria
Sunday, March 18, free with museum admission, 5:30
Series runs March 17-23
South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s most recent film about a South Korean auteur, Like You Know It All, is another intriguing examination of art and sex in contemporary society, following Night and Day (2008), Woman on the Beach (2006), Tale of Cinema (2005), and Woman Is the Future of Man (2004). Hong, who has served as a juror at several film festivals and whose work has screened at fests all over the world, sets his latest self-reflexive story at the real Jecheon International Music and Film Festival, where director Ku will be part of the jury. But it turns out that Ku is a self-absorbed, insensitive, and subtly obnoxious filmmaker who cares only about himself, walking away from fans and colleagues in the middle of a conversation or in the midst of signing an autograph, interested only in listening to people praise his own talent, which has been relegated to art-house films that few people see and even fewer understand. After leaving the festival to teach a class at a school on Jeju Island, he visits with a famous painter and former mentor who has unknowingly married Ku’s first love, setting the stage for the creepy Ku to perform yet more selfish acts. Kim Tae-woo is outstanding in the lead role, playing the self-obsessed director with an unerring casualness that makes him more absurdly ridiculous than conniving and mean-spirited. With a little bit of Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 here and a touch of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories there, Hong once again reveals the soft underbelly of ego within the film industry, but he also needs to edit himself more, as the bittersweet, slyly ironic Like You Know It All, made for a mere $100,000, is yet another of his films to clock in at more than two hours (though it feels longer). Like You Know It All is screening as Woman on the Beach is screening March 18 as part of the Museum of the Moving Image’s retrospective of Hong’s work, which also includes Night and Day, Woman on the Beach, Oki’s Movie, and The Day a Pig Fell into the Well.