2017 marked a banner year for unfathomably prolific South Korean director Hong Sangsoo, who debuted a trio of his greatest films all in the first half of the year. On the Beach at Night Alone at Berlinale was followed by the one-two, subdued punch of Claire’s Camera and The Day After at Cannes. With all of those films enjoying a U.S. release courtesy of Cinema Guild, we now await his next features. He returned to Berlinale with Grass (our review) earlier this year and now he’ll be coming back to Locarno with another new feature, and the first look has arrived.
Hotel by the River, which is also black-and-white, stars Ki Joobong, Kim Minhee, Song Seonmi, Kwon Haehyo, and Yu Junsang. Clocking in at 96 minutes, it follows a poet who summons his two sons to a hotel he’s staying at after he sense death is approaching. However, things change when he comes across a young woman her friend. Ahead of the Locarno premiere (and our review), check out the tranquil first clip below, along with a batch of images and a synopsis.
Update: See the trailer below.
An old poet staying for free in a riverside hotel summons his two estranged sons. This is because he feels, for no apparent reason, like he is going to die. After being betrayed by the man she was living with, a young woman gets a room at the hotel. Seeking support, she summons a friend.
The poet spends a day with his sons and tries to wrap up the loose ends in his life. But it’s not so easy to do that in one day. But then he sees the young woman and her friend, after a sudden, unbelievably heavy snowfall.
Hotel by the River premieres Thursday, August 9 at Locarno International Film Festival 2018.