Ode to the Goose
군산: 거위를 노래하다
Director: Zhang Lu
Cast: Park Hae-il, Moon Sori, Jung Jin-yung, Park So-dum
Film genre: Drama
Cert 15, 122 mins, 2018
Distributed by Parallax Films
Following on from 2016’s A Quiet Dream, director Zhang Lu returns with another playfully enigmatic look at two meandering lives in Ode to the Goose.
The film opens with aspiring poet Yun-young (Park Hae-il, The Host) travelling to the port town of Gunsan with companion Song-hyun (Moon Sori, Forever the Moment). After being pointed in the direction of a hotel that is said to be selective of guests, the two are admitted entry and their journey bifurcates with Yun-young being drawn to the hotel owner’s shut-in daughter, while Song-hyun strikes up a friendship with the owner himself. Within this scenario Zhang-lu weaves a rich tapestry of narrative threads that reflect on both his character’s present attitudes and their displaced pasts (with particular reference to the status of Chinese-Koreans, of whom Lu himself is one).
Zhang Lu’s smart, lyrical features have long made him a favourite of the international film festival scene, with past successes including Grain in Ear (2005), Dooman River (2010) and Gyeongju (2014). His latest recalls the work of Korea’s other great auteur, Hong Sangsoo, not only in its playful exploration of a complicated male/female relationship but also in its non-linear narrative structure that reflects back on itself to offer colour and insight into character motivations and mysteries, not to mention the boozy revelations poured out over a bottle of soju…
Ode to the Goose finds director Lu teaming up once again with actors Park Hae-il (after Gyeongju) and Moon Sori (from Love and…), for a film that received a Gala screening at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival and now makes its way to London for its European Premiere.