Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, The (1996)

November 17, 2003 • Film, Reviews

[director HONG Sang Soo]
Color 115 min

One of the absolute best of the emerging Korean films, Hong Sang-Soo’s debut feature manages to capture a very realistic mood and feeling, drawn from Hong’s unique work as a scenarist. Each scene is constructed in a masterful, enigmatic way, with stunning, muted cinematography and eerily stark music. The actors approach their parts with a dynamic naturalism, and the bubble of tension this approach creates never actually bursts throughout the film.

Purportedly, Hong wrote four separate scripts for the movie, all separate stories, and merged them together, creating relationships between the characters as he went. At the finish we have a writer, the “pig” of the title, who has affairs with a married woman, a young ticket seller who works hard to do nice things for him and just gets yelled at, and some other girl who isn’t really involved in the story. The 4 separate sections of the film revolve around the writer, the married woman, her husband, and the ticket seller. Each character has profound encounters over the course of about 48 hours, as the married woman leaves her husband for the writer. The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well is a dark, enigmatic movie by one of the most exciting emerging talents in world film.

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