News from the Locarno Festival

Pardo d’oro 2015 to Right Now, Wrong Then by HONG Sang-soo

HONG Sang-soo director of “Right Now, Wrong Then”, winner of Pardo d’oro 2015


© Alessio Pizzicannella

“Jigeumeun matgo geuttaeneun teullida (Right Now, Wrong Then)” by HONG Sang-soo


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In your movie you explore the duality about fiction and reality, between characters and real life. Why did you choose to talk about this difference?

I have done some films with this double structure before. Other people asked me why I use this one, I told them it’s because it’s useful to think about life more easily, because when you try to look at life in front of you, you have to go through a certain amount of ideals, ideology, some kind of conceptual models. And only going through them one believes he can understand what is in front of him. These comparing two methods represent a different process, just giving a person two concrete realities, two worlds one is forced to compare. You can think about life more directly, more basically. Personally I always live this duality, feeling guilty about switching from an ideal or an idea to the other one. We spend all our lives searching for our ideals. It’s a very long process, and sometimes I realize that maybe that’s not the way to look at life. I would like to see things more clearly and easily.

Your main character is a film director. How much of yourself you put on him?

I cannot say how much of course, but I’m not afraid of putting details of my real life – as long I can use them with other kinds of details – mixing them in some kind of art. If I can use them I’m not afraid, even if I never meant to portray any model to myself. I like that kind of feeling when some stories have the flavor of their authors, and they are making some art: that’s what I’m trying to do. But how much I put of myself, I really don’t know.

Do you think cinema has to keep showing the truth, the reality about human feelings and connections, just like you do with your movies?

It’s very important I guess because it’s all we are interested in. We want to know always more about ourselves, about life and how to go through it. Nobody can really capture the essence of life. Nobody can say “I have found the essence, the definition of life.” Human beings are influenced by so many things that distract, we are not qualified to capture the essence of life. Everything we can do is discovering a little bit, and little by little.

Which has been for you the most emotional scene to shoot in this movie?

I was very interested in the relationship between these two people, the man’s dilemma. He is married and he really loves this girl. I’m married and I felt I could live this problem one day, so while I was writing I was very emotionally attached to this dilemma. So I think the writing was emotional, I didn’t know how to develop and to end the story, it’s been a very interesting experience.

After the Pardo d’Argento as best director for Our Sunhi in 2013, now the Pardo d’Oro for Jigeumeun matgo geuttaeneum teullida. What can you say about this prestigious award?

I’m very happy about it. Getting a prize means a help for better exposure, or so I hope. Also it’s an encouragement to myself, for my steps and for my actors.

Last question. You showed your movies in festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam. In what Festival del film Locarno is unique for you?

Unique? I guess look at me, I got two prizes here! That’s the important thing. And I like the lake very much…

Adriano Ercolani

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