Hong Sangsoo Takes a Coffee Break in U.S. Trailer for ‘Grass’

Written by Margaret Rasberry on March 24, 2019 

On the heels of Hotel by the River, released earlier this year in the U.S., Grass marks Hong Sangsoo’s 22nd feature and his fifth collaboration with actress Kim Min-hee. Set for an April release from Cinema Guild, the film conveys the story of a woman in a cafe observing the various dramas of life while she continuously types on her laptop, not interacting with the other guests and their own troubles. Being a Hong film, there is of course more than meets the eye. The trailer also subverts expectations, featuring just one scene from the film alongside acclaim, including our own.

Rory O’Connor said at Berlinale last year, “The film stars Hong’s currently inseparable muse Kim Min-hee (who has appeared in five out of six of his latest features and has played the lead in three) as a casual writer who spends most of the film tapping away on her MacBook as she eavesdrops on conversations in a quaint Seoul cafe. The content of these chats ranges from the utterly mundane to far more weighted meditations, most significantly a lost love and a suicide. Hong is generally at his best when examining how men and women interact and this setting allows him to once again put those subtleties and idiosyncrasies at the front of his lens or, perhaps more accurately, under his microscope.”

See the trailer below.

For his 22nd feature as director, Hong delivers a delicious cinematic riddle only he could concoct. In the corner of a small cafeé, Areum (Kim Minhee) sits typing on her laptop. At the tables around her, other customers enact the various dramas of their lives. A young couple charge each other with serious crimes, an old man tries to rekindle a flame with a younger woman, a narcissistic filmmaker works to put together his next project—all while Areum types. Is she merely writing what she hears? Or is she hearing what’s been written? As the dramas inside the café unfold, the plants outside grow taller.

Grass will be released April 19 at New York City’s Metrograph and expand in the weeks to follow.


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