SFIFF57 Report: Hong Sang-soo’s “Our Sunhi” and Benedikt Erlingsson’s “Of Horses and Men”

Of_Horses_and_Men_02Not too often do I have the pleasure of watching back-to-back new releases, both of them being five-star studs. Speaking of studs, by the end of the day I was happier than a colt humping a mare with a human on top. And on that strange analogy let’s get to the reviews, shall we.

Our Sunhi

OUR_SUNHI_03five-starsLow-key comedy at it’s most brilliant and transcendent.

Having only seen one other film from director Hong Sang-soo‘s highly prolific body of work, In Another Country, and having it be my favorite film of the 21st Century thus far, it would be fair to say that Our Sunhi was one of my, if not my most, anticipated film of the festival. Needless to say I was not disappointed.

This is a reunion film of sorts filled with chance meetings, characters both assured and clueless, long takes of conversations, most of which happen while drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and most of all it’s an incredible witty and remarkable script, that demands some serious rewatching as soon as possible.

But even more than that, this is a film about all those tiny misinterpretations that happen in our daily comings and goings, especially when trying to categorize a person’s characteristics – whether or not they are as enigmatic as Our Sunhi’s own Sunhi or not.

Of Horses and Men

Of_Horses_and_Men

five-starsAnd the winner of the Now-Here’s-Something-You-Don’t-See-Everyday-In-Film award goes to the debut film of director Benedikt Erlingsson for his slice of small Icelandic village life being depicted in Of Horses and Men.

As the title suggests this film really is about horses and men. It’s also about women, so maybe the better title would have been Of Horses and Men and Women. And that right there is the only scuff I could detect in an otherwise absolute perfect film.

Jaw dropping visual aesthetics, a musical score making me want to cheer aloud every time it appears, an engaging and never-a-dull-moment storyline, some fantastic acting from all involved (horses and human), the impossible-to-ignore masterful editing, a side-splitting sense of humor that announces itself from scene one and leaves a plastered smile on my face throughout, heck; you name it, every aspect of this film is just flawless. Really, I don’t know how else to describe it. Flawless.

Once again, thank you SFIFF for making my film watching day a pleasurable one.

Remaining Showtimes for Of Horses and Men:
Monday, May 5th 6:00pm (Sundance Kabuki)

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Categories: Reviews, San Francisco International Film Festival

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