With nearly 25 features now to his name, and 15 of those in the last decade, Hong Sangsoo has recently received due attention in the United States, but a number of the South Korean director’s films still have yet to acquire distribution here. Thankfully, we can now cross one off of the undistributed list as Cinema Guild has reteamed with the director to release his 2016 feature Yourself and Yours.
As part of Cinema Guild’s virtual cinema initiative, the film will open on June 5, with digital and home video releases to follow later this year. It will mark the second film in their virtual cinema lineup, followed by Albert Serra’s Liberté, which arrives this Friday.
One of Hong Sangsoo’s most delightful comic mysteries, the film follows a painter Youngsoo (Kim Joohyuk), who learns that his girlfriend, Minjung (Lee Yooyoung), was recently seen having drinks with another man. When Youngsoo questions her about it, they fight and part on bad terms. The next day, Youngsoo tries to find her, but can’t. As he wanders and frets, Minjung has a series of encounters with other men. But to them it seems she’s not herself.
With an ensemble also featuring Kwon Haehyo, Yu Junsang, and Kim Euisung, the deal was negotiated by Cinema Guild President Peter Kelly with Youngjoo Suh of Finecut. “We’ve been huge fans of Yourself and Yours since the first time we saw it,” said Kelly. “It’s such a pleasure to be bringing it to audiences in the U.S.”
In our New York Film Festival review by Nick Newman, he said, “Yourself and Yours is enjoyable the way every other Hong Sang-soo film is enjoyable: funny, relatable and emotionally honest, structurally innovative, and composed with a patient eye that favors the peaks and valleys of conversation over standard get-to-the-point construction. Here, though, he wields a sharper blade: in its defiance of internal logic, character motivation, or even a conventional understanding, the film’s narrative (about doubles or twins or doppelgängers or all or none) brings contemplation of romantic relationships’ hardest edges–those gaps between men and women that no one’s quite figured out, perhaps because they’re entirely irreparable–to a point more digestible than the standard dramatic formats of shouting, crying, confrontation, etc.”
Cinema Guild also recently acquired Hong Sangsoo’s latest feature, The Woman Who Ran, which won the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlinale.