(Geu-hu, Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 2017, 92 min., DCP, Korean w/subtitles)
Rochester Premiere. The last of the three films Hong Sang-soo directed in 2017 and his 21st feature as a director in less than 20 years, The Day After is a mordantly comic tale of infidelity and mistaken identity. Book publisher Bongwan’s (Kwon Haehyo) marriage is on the rocks after his wife (Cho Yunhee) discovers the affair he’s been having with his assistant (Kim Saebyuk). Now that relationship is ending, too, and Bongwan’s new assistant, the sharp and sensitive Areum (Kim Minhee), on her first day in the office, is left to navigate the fallout of all of the turnover in Bongwan’s life. With its ingeniously destabilizing leaps through time and stark black-and-white cinematography, The Day After begins as a darkly hilarious story of a man embroiled in extramarital entanglements but soon shifts—in a way only Hong can manage—into a heartfelt portrayal of a young woman on a quest for spiritual fulfillment.