Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

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Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)
1463.3 MB | 1:48:06 | Korean with Eng.+Chinese s/t | XviD, 1610 Kb/s | 672x384

In this heartbreaking drama from acclaimed Korean director Hong Sang-soo, Sangkwan and Jisook, who are recently separated, travel with friends to scenic Kangwon province in hopes of mending their relationship. But a surprising turn of events there means that both of them may leave the mountains and temples of Kangwon lonelier than ever. Tai Seng

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Like most directors working outside the mainstream of cinema in Korea, Hong Sang-soo will doubtless have to contend with the connotations of artiness or pretentiousness that arthouse cinema is often labelled with. However, while it is about as far away from "My Sassy Girl" as it is possible to get, there is little that is pretentious about "The Power of Kangwon Province"’s simple, direct and realistic depiction of relationships. DVD Times

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Three young girls, Jisook, Misun and Eunkyoung take a trip to the mountainous Kangwon Province of South Korea. They meet a young policeman who shows them around and after a meal where they all get drunk together, Jisook ends up spending the night with the policeman. He is married, but Jisook returns another day to see him and they end up falling-over drunk again. Jisook has just broken up with another married man, and she is lonely and unhappy with her current situation. DVD Times

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

The second half the film then follows the situation of Sangwon, the married man that Jisook has just broken up with. In a typically symmetrical fashion, after a repeat scene where it becomes apparent that both of them are on the same train, Sangwon also visits the Kangwon Province with a friend and the paths of the two characters cross without them ever meeting there, both of them encountering a couple involved in a murder investigation. DVD Times

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

Hong Sang-soo - Kangwon-do ui him ('The Power of Kangwon Province') (1998)

The director favours single-take shots from one angle and there is little camera movement. There are no long-shots and then close-ups – each scene is of a whole and the mood created remains throughout the take without the director having to call cut and set up a new shot. The actors are mostly unknowns, so there is no sense of having seen them in another film. All this lends the film the sense of authenticity and reality that the director is striving for. DVD Times