Search - Woman is the Future of Man on DVD

Woman is the Future of Man
Woman is the Future of Man
Actors: Ji-tae Yu, Tae-woo Kim, Hyeon-a Seong, Ho-jung Kim, Yun-beom Bae
Director: Sang-soo Hong
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2007     1hr 28min

Like Wong Kar-wai and Tsai Ming-liang, New Korean Cinema luminary Hong Sangsoo marries Asian and European sensibilities. Michael Atkinson in The Village Voice cannily dubbed him "the love child Antonioni and Hou Hsiao-h...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ji-tae Yu, Tae-woo Kim, Hyeon-a Seong, Ho-jung Kim, Yun-beom Bae
Director: Sang-soo Hong
Creators: Hyeon-gu Kim, Sang-soo Hong, Seong-weon Ham, Han-na Lee, Lee Hanna, Marin Karmitz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/03/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 28min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Don't bother...
Reviewer | United States | 04/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Another reviewer's comparison with Jules & Jim suggests so much more than is here: more charisma, more beauty, more humor, more pathos... being sorry I let the video box's reviews & description draw me in, I'm writing this in the hope of sparing others a similar several hours of misery (or maybe it just seems that long!). The direction and timing are indulgent. The narrative is under-written and ineffective. The sex scenes are disgusting enough to at least have the potential to slow overpopulation. The point-of-view, mostly male, is more simple than that of the most simple-minded male, unless this is how it is in Korea. There is way too much gratuitious depiction of women enduring humiliation, exploitation, and a horribly primitive hierarchy. BTW, the interviews with the actors (one of the DVD's "extras") revealed that some scenes were done w/ the actors actually drunk - an idea they seemed to feel was somehow exciting, revolutionary, perhaps even avant garde - er, no - or, more to the point, it didn't save this tripe, and may have been part of the problem. This director needs to take a course in Jim Jarmusch over and over until he gets the point of true minimalism - and, perhaps, a sense of humor."
A complex film, but to what end?
avoraciousreader | Somewhere in the Space Time Continuum | 06/08/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Two old friends, getting on middle-aged and separated for unclear reasons, reunite at lunch and a series of further meetings, reminisce about the old days. They are a natty, complacently married, professor, Munto, and a leaner, more intense film maker, Hun-joon. They talk about an old girlfriend of Hun-joon's, Sunhwa (who seemingly Munho also had an affair with). Various tensions rise up in sudden flashes breaking the calm surface of renewed friendship. Eventually the two go to find Sunhwa, who now works as a bar girl (or manager of a bar), and go back to her apartment for a night of drinking and revelry. Afterward, Munho runs into some students, is cajoled into more drinking with them. Without, hopefully, giving away too much that's about it, and we leave Munho standing on a dawning street, waiting for a cab. Incidentally, there is a good deal of obsession with sex, mostly neither interesting nor titillating, including a scene or two approaching soft core status.

Much of the story is told in flashbacks (or fantasies or dream sequences or ...), and given that not a lot of effort seems to have been made (via makeup or whatever) to distinguish the 20-something flashbackees from the current 40'ish (at a guess) protagonists, it is sometimes difficult to tell which is which. Another viewing would certainly clarify some of what is going on, and I certainly enjoy films which challenge one to untangle every nuance through repeated viewings (see my reviews of "Fallen Angels" (Fallen Angels) and "Flower Island" (Flower Island), for instance). But one has to care enough, about the characters or the film itself, one has to sense that there will be something added beyond, say, simply getting the chronology straight, to make the investment of time and effort, and I couldn't get up the enthusiasm on either count, so returned it without a second go. The two men were stereotypical male jerks, the women basic dishrags, with no seeming commentary about it. It's not an awful film, and maybe I'm missing out, but I just couldn't get into it enough to bother getting into it enough"
A very rewarding Korean drama...
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 06/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hong Sangsoo is a film professor turned director. I have seen only 2 of his films, "Virgin stripped bare by her Bachelors" and this one; "WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN". The director is an artist concerned with alienation and the "battle of the sexes". Sangsoo definitely has a fondness for subtle symbolism and repetition in tales of unsympathetic relations and the mistake of always trying to recapture the past, not being able to let go.

This director is a minimalist and a very strict one at that. He avoids cinematic manipulations like close-ups. Most scenes in his movies are done in 1 take, wide shots and limits camera movement. He gives his performers a wide berth to fill a scene. I think he uses an observational perspective.

The tale begins when 2 old chums meet for a lazy afternoon, which will lead to a drunken weekend. Munho (Jitae Yu) is a married art teacher, while his friend, Hunjoon (Teawoo Kim) had just returned from his film studies from the U.S. the screenplay is about "slow reveal", blossoming occurrances and "woman..." starts with Munho making a point not to invite Hunjoon into his home. Munho offers Hunjoon to walk into the backyard to walk on fresh snow.
Two of the potent symbolisms are shown when Hunjoon takes a few steps on the snow and backtracks in them on purpose so that the path will seem like it had suddenly stopped. As for this scene; it is a piece of symbolism: 1)an abandoned path (stopped walking forward)means no set direction or I suppose from the title's standpoint "no future" 2)Hunjoon walking backwards in his steps means a desire to go back and relive the past.

As for the act that Munho didn't let his friend inside his home, Munho has harbored anger when Hunjoon gave his spouse an " friendly American" hug when they went to visit him in the States before. Munho is a man of resentment and insecurity.

This becomes the premise of the film. The 2 men-kids drink and eventually reminisce about a shared romance back in the college days, Sunhwa (Hyeona Seong, The Intimate, Time). They inadvertently decide to see her and in turn, their past failings resurface. For Hunjoon, he remembers Sunhwa as a fragile girl that he had mistreated. He took advantage of her when he supposedly tried to "cleanse" her (by having sex with her) after she was raped by an old school chum, then dumping her to attend film school in America. For Munho, he dated her while Hunjoon was in the states attending film school. He remembers her as an awkward sexual conquest. The ultimate irony is that the two men are unable to see their shortcomings when it comes to women, they express their frustrations in their drunken pleas for punishment, at the same time, they are pathetic and ignorant--they are doomed to commit their past mistakes.

VIDEO/AUDIO: ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN. The transfer is kept simple, not very striking. The PQ is not vibrant, somewhat soft and lacking in contrast. But is very clean, free of print damage. Korean Language 5.1 Dolby and 2.0 surround with English subs.
Liner notes by Michael Atkinson and Kyung Hyun Kim.
French and Korean Theatrical Trailers.
Introduction by Martin Scorsese (this is very nice).
Interviews with the three leads & Making of Featurette .
WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN is a very rewarding drama. The dvd is not technically sound, but this film has a lot to offer fans of Korean "art" films.
RECOMMENDED!! (4 stars)
Cigarettes and Soju
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 08/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"After a few years abroad studying film, Hun-joon returns to South Korea a bit worse for wear. Upon his arrival, the first thing he does is go to the home of his university friend Mun-ho who is now an art professor, married, and the owner of a nice home. However, as it soon becomes evident while the two men chain smoke and drink soju at a Chinese restaurant, Mun-ho, like Hun-joon, is not really happy. Also, what becomes evident is that the two men are really not that close and there seems to be a lake of animosity beneath a thin ice of calmness between the two men. This feeling, of course, is linked with a woman, Sun-hwa, whom Hun-joon dated but left in Korea when he went to study in America.

Quite jarringly the film jumps into several flashbacks which depict Hun-joon and Mun-ho's relationship with Sun-hwa. Hun-joon is gentle and thoughtful towards Sun-hwa, but he does leave her. Mun-ho is much more aggressive towards Sun-hwa and has an affair with her while Hun-joon remains clueless. After both Hun-joon and Mun-ho are rejected by the restaurant's waitress--Hun-joon asked her to be in a film and Mun-ho asked her to pose for a painting--they decide to go to the small town where Sun-hwa is managing a bar. However, can such a meeting between the members of a broken triangle truly be fruitful?

Director Hong Sang-soo has received much critical acclaim both domestically and abroad for his complex and slightly disturbing films such as The Day a Pig Fell into the Well and The Power of Kangwon Province, however, while being a decent film, Woman is the Future of Man suffers a little from a glacial pace which makes its under 90 minute duration seem to drag on for a bit longer than what it actually does. Also, as I stated above, the flashbacks at the beginning of the film are a bit jarring and sometimes seem out of place because they do not fit in with the linearity of the overall story at first. However, they do help fill in some pieces to the puzzle upon a second viewing. While not for everyone, Woman is the Future of Man is a decent place to start for those wanting to watch a more "artistic" Korean film instead of the heaps of horror and romance films that saturate the available Korean films in the West."