Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Lee Chang-dong. 2018, 148 mins. DCP. In Korean with English subtitles. With Jun Jong-seo, Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun. The talk of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, this long-awaited sixth feature from Korean master Lee Chang-dong (Poetry, Secret Sunshine) is a slow-burn thriller based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. Underemployed and frustrated aspiring writer Jong-soo (Yoo Ah-in) runs into Hae-mi (Jun Jong-seo), an old school acquaintance and neighbor. Just as they begin to connect as adults, she asks him to cat-sit during an extended trip to Africa. Energized by optimism and desire, Jong-soo shows up at the airport to reunite with Hae-mi, who surprises him with a new friend, Ben (Steven Yeun), a wealthy and dashing new suitor who resets the course of all of their lives. Featuring a high-wattage supporting performance by Yeun and a truly shocking final act, Burning achieves a sense of mystery that radiates far past the end of the movie.
“Brilliant. The story has the quality of a mystery thriller—somebody goes missing, somebody else tries to figure out why—one accompanied by the drumbeat of politics. The larger, more agonizing question here, though, involves what it means to live in a divided, profoundly isolating world that relentlessly drives a wedge between the self and others.”—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)
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