Yourself and Yours

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Hong Sang-sooSouth Korea86 minutes201614AColourKorean

Korean maestro and Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (Right Now, Wrong Then) embarks on an intriguing foray into the uncanny with this ingenious spin on Luis Buñuel’s final masterpiece That Obscure Object of Desire.

The latest from Korean maestro and Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo is a deeply intriguing foray into the uncanny. The world of Yourself and Yours is rife with doppelgängers. Whether these figures are to be regarded as corporeal beings or as illusory manifestations of our protagonist's psychic malaise is unclear — and, ultimately, unimportant. Hong, as always, slips fluidly between the realistic and the enigmatic.

The walls seem to be closing in on painter Young-soo (Kim Joo-hyuck). His mother is gravely ill. He learns that his girlfriend, Minjung (Lee You-young), was drinking and quarreling with another man. When Young-soo confronts Minjung she tells him that they need some time apart — yet it turns out that time away from Minjung is the last thing our harried hero is going to get. The day after their confrontation, Young-soo cannot find his girlfriend, yet it seems that several women who bear her likeness are attending rendezvous with other men all over town. Are these multiple versions of Minjung taking stock of all surrounding bachelors in search of someone to replace Young-soo?

Yourself and Yours is an endlessly playful exploration of romantic obsession and insecurity: when love seems to be slipping out of our reach it can feel like the whole world is against us, bending the laws of nature to torment our fragile minds. When it comes to combining acute behavioural observation with inspired conceptual strategies, Hong has no equal.

GIOVANNA FULVI

East AsiaDramaRomance