On the Beach at Night Alone

Hong Sang-soo continues in the contemplative mode of Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013), crafting another finely observed drama about a lonely young woman. A South Korean actress (Kim Min-hee), visiting Berlin to forget her messy break-up with a married director, realizes that she’s still depressed and returns home, only to alienate old friends with her selfish and self-destructive behavior. Hong’s visual style, offering little camera movement or editing within scenes, is deceptively simple, exposing the characters’ emotional complexity, and the friction between his serious psychological concerns and his playful narrative, with its dream sequences and clever elisions, generates a certain frisson. In English and subtitled Korean.