As The Novelist’s Film stays fresh and in water just begins screening, it might be easy to overlook Walk Up in the current constellation of Hong Sangsoo. Don’t be deterred: it’s a typically enlivening, zig-zag character study with a classic Hong twist that recontextualizes the seemingly mundane. Cinema Guild will begin rolling out Walk Up on March 24 at Film at Lincoln Center, and we’re thrilled to debut a surprisingly jaunty trailer with great keypad work.
As our TIFF review said, “There’s something very relaxing in the languid rhythms of Walk Up. Though ditching the lo-fi aesthetics of his two 2021 entries, Introduction and In Front of Your Face, there’s still not a ton to look at per se, yet the precision and attention to gestural detail remains. A boozy dinner table scene remains in a fixed position for what seems like ten-to-fifteen minutes––this critic admittedly did not bust out the stopwatch, as seems frequent at festivals––where you can see how Hong remains an expert director of actors who can coax highly realistic, if not distractingly naturalistic performances. It’s maybe dull for critics to praise compactness or pureness in one Hong film after another, and Walk Up will definitely not be anyone’s favorite, but it’s hard not to be sympathetic to something so personal.”
See the trailer below, along with the theatrical poster, designed by Brian Hung.
In his ninth film for Hong Sangsoo, Kwon Haehyo plays Byungsoo, a film director who goes with his daughter Jeongsu (Park Miso), an aspiring interior designer, to a building owned by an old friend (Lee Hyeyoung) already established in the design field. She gives them a tour of the property, which includes a restaurant and cooking studio on the first two floors, her office in the basement, a residence on the third floor and an artist’s studio at the top. The three of them amicably chat the day away. But when his daughter leaves to get more wine, Byungsoo is left to spend time with the landlord and the other residents of her building. With Walk Up, Hong Sangsoo returns to an interest in structure that has been a defining characteristic of his work from the beginning. And this time the structure is a literal one. As Byunsgoo makes his way up the floors of the building, Hong fills these spaces with a profusion of everyday details spanning art, love, career, religion, dietary decisions and home renovations.
Walk Up opens on March 24 at Film at Lincoln Center and will expand.