Like You Know It All

2009 [KOREAN]

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 762

Keywords:   movie business, art, lecture, film festival, jeju island

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 14, 2022 at 02:26 PM

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720p.WEB
1.14 GB
1280*698
Korean 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 7 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Chris Knipp 9 / 10

Bumbling hero

Bumbling hero Hong Sang-soo has been one of the darlings of the exclusive New York Film Festival; this time his new one is included in Lincoln Center's also important but less visible Film Comment Selects. As has happened before, Hong focuses here on a Korean film-making auteur, an ironic version of himself, and the subject matter is man-woman relationships, with infidelity a key issue, and macho self-importance an ever-present given. Though the title may be an over-simplification of the Korean original, the implication is there, of a man who's too full of himself -- but is having that pointed out to him repeatedly either by implication or directly in the dialogue. There are two main, and parallel, sequences in this 126-minute but surprisingly light and watchable film, one of the director's visit to a local summer film festival in the town of Jecheon where he's meant to be a juror, the other a lecture to a group of film students where he becomes momentarily involved with the young wife of a local art celebrity. I liked this one better than Hong's last, the 2008 Musée d'Orsay-commissioned and Paris-set 'Night and Day.' Hong works best in Korean settings, and this new film further pushes its narcissistic Hong hero out into the world. Being in Korea, the protagonist has lots of people he can talk to, and, importantly, get very drunk with; and with no homesickness to contend with, the laughs flow as never before in a Hong film.

The director is Koo Gyung-nam (Kim Tae-woo), and in the film festival section he's delicately but cruelly mocked -- though that's balanced somewhat throughout by his appealingly self-questioning voice-over. Seen falling asleep at screenings and later involved in a very embarrassing meeting, he eventually has to withdraw before his jurying job is done, and he gets a surprising blast of abuse from the woman organizer that satirizes the ego-mania and personality clashes of the festival scene. Earlier Koo encounters a now popular and well-paid director (Kim Yeon-soo) who was his admirer when they were younger, practically his groupie. He can claim artistic superiority, but he still can't help envying the money and the popularity. Koo also encounters a young porn star (with her mother!) who's recently been cast in an art house film and now promotes herself as a legitimate actress. This shows off Koo's hypocrisy, as he makes absurd promises to people he'll never see again. It's when he meets an old friend and is invited to dinner at the man's house and meets his young wife that things eventually get very uncomfortable for Koo and he is forced to leave town.

Part two begins twelve days later when Koo goes to Jeju Island to talk to a film class. Still more drinking happens, with proclamations on the meaning of life, arm wrestling (which Koo at first wins -- he's one of Hong's fittest and trimmest protagonists), and a meeting with a yet older friend, a famous painter, again with a young wife, Gosun (Ko Hyun-jung). Sure enough, Koo is going to have a connection with her, and as in part one, a handwritten letter from a married woman initiates a disastrous encounter. The parallelisms of the two parts and the artificiality of some of the dialogue, especially when it's pointing to the egotism and poses of the art film and festival world, strangely do not keep Hong's film from having a natural, easy flow, and the predicaments Koo gets into are always surprising enough to keep you interested. Think Rohmer, the foreign director most often mentioned in connection with Hong: both combine sometimes obviously written dialogue with improvisation -- on the part of actors and director, who in Hong's case tends to make up scenes from day to day during shooting. This blend makes both filmmakers' artificial cinematic worlds somehow seem absolutely natural and right. In both cases you plunge into that world with delight, even though sometimes what you've seen in their various films tends to blend together a bit, while certain scenes remain in the mind, classic and unforgettable.

The sequences between Ko Hyun-jung as Gosun and Kim Tae-woo as director Koo are the most memorable, intimate, and serious in the tale; Gosun is a fascinating woman who's articulate, sure of herself, and attractive enough to be more than a match for director Koo. Variety's Justin Chang has suggested that while 'Like You Know It All' can be seen as a smaller diptych, this film and Hong's 'Woman on the Beach' can be read together as a larger one, a point underlined by the presence of both these actors in both films. Some who've commented on Like you Know It All online seem to have suddenly fallen out of love with Hong Sang-soo. But the arrival of a film as accomplished, rich, and entertaining as this one is hardly the right moment to desert him.

'Like You Know It All'/'Jal aljido mothamyeonseo' was presented at Cannes, Toronto, Vancouver, London, and other film festivals, mostly in 2009. Shown as part of the Film Comment Selects series at the Walter Reade Theater of Lincoln Center, March 2010.

Reviewed by oOgiandujaOo_and_Eddy_Merckx 8 / 10

A director observes unflinchingly, but awaits growth

This movie took a long time to get going for me, and someone I know said the same thing, so give it a chance. It's another reflexive movie about making movies type of movie, only this one starts with a minimum of drama, and no attempt at visual beauty or pathos. However it really crept up on me and I was rapt by the end.

There's a lot of Rohmer in it I think, nuanced talky scenes which occasionally end with a pointed bit of mise-en-scene. It's about this director Ku, who is a real art-house type, he makes the sorts of films that Like You Know It All is. He's held in high critical esteem, but he's not making films that have a chance of being popular.

Ku has quite a thing for the ladies, and he ends up in a couple of dalliances by the time the film is over, that are both with the wives of big friends of his. As with many serial philanderers, this is down to personal insecurity. One thing he's got Rohmer beat on is humour, and this is a pretty funny film. There's a fairly rotten view of folks here, the men in the film are largely preoccupied with themselves, the women are doing the odious vicarious stuff that they like to do, for example participating in ambition and success by proxy through their relationships, impromptu hardly sensible harangues seem to be something they like to inflict on Ku. They're also pretty fickle, they talk about men as entomologists talk about insects. (on that note, a close-up of a caterpillar tells us what Hong thinks of one of the pairings!).

There's just something dark about the whole thing, one of the women asks him not to make a movie about the events, and he's clearly dared to do just that. Hong doesn't give Ku/ur-Hong a coat of whitewash either, he's dopey, falls asleep during viewings of festival films where he is in the jury, is pretty much lead by his groin, basically a prat. For all that he does have a clear philosophy on how to make films, and why. He believes in freedom, and that is what film-making is to him.

Film students watch out because you're all portrayed as fawning idiots here. Hong doesn't treat himself much better, visually contrasting himself through Ku as a juvenile frog, somewhere between a tadpole and the full-on Bud-wei-ser croaker. Perhaps he believes his best work is yet to come, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Its lasting impression is light-hearted and because it's a rare instance of a forensic examiner turning the microscope on themselves, I give it full marks.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 2 / 10

More mindlessness from a predictable director

LIKE YOU KNOW IT ALL is yet another film that sees Korean director Hong Sang-soo deep within his comfort zone with a movie about an indie film director who spends his time hanging around with local film students. It's as predictable as they come for those who've seen any of his other works, and there seems to be even less incident, even less point to it all, than ever before.

The film is split roughly into two halves although they're both interchangeable when it comes down to it. The first half sees the protagonist lazing around and drinking and chatting to various inconsequential people; he commits something of faux pas with his buddy's wife, so goes elsewhere for the second half. Overall though, absolutely nothing in the way of interest happens and all I did was become bored out of my mind at the sheer mundane day-to-day life of these self-centred characters.

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