Watch the full film on the
Welcome to Fandor. Watch thousands of award-winning films online. ×

The Day He Arrives2011

  • 4.0
A film director who no longer makes films, Seongjun, arrives in Seoul to meet a close friend. When the friend doesn't show up, Seongjun wanders the city aimlessly. He runs into an actress he used to know, shares a drink with some film students and against his better judgment, heads to his ex-girlfriend's apartment. The next day goes very much like the last; Seongjun meets the actress, has drinks with friends, and falls for woman who looks remarkably like his ex-girlfriend. Each new day plays out like a flimsy copy of the previous one, but only Seongjun knows why. Infused with a playfulness and dry wit that recalls the films of Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer, THE DAY HE ARRIVES is a delightful meditation on relationships, filmmaking and the unknowable forces that govern our lives.

Copy embed code

×

Distributor

34061.small

What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

7 members like this review

This seems to be about coincidences, and even the chance to relive events with different results. But what this is about more fundamentally is intimacy - the chance encounters that lead to sudden and even deep intimacy, and then the choices that exist in the aftermath of intimacy: to continue it, to end it, or (as in the case with the main character's friend) to avoid it in the first place. In this sense the central character's profession is ideal - the relationship (or avoidance of such) and the length of commitment between a director and his/her film (especially when that film is finished) parallels neatly the relationships Seongjun has with women.

108092.small
top reviewer

Member Reviews (11)

108092.small
top reviewer

This seems to be about coincidences, and even the chance to relive events with different results. But what this is about more fundamentally is intimacy - the chance encounters that lead to sudden and even deep intimacy, and then the choices that exist in the aftermath of intimacy: to continue it, to end it, or (as in the case with the main character's friend) to avoid it in the first place. In this sense the central character's profession is ideal - the relationship (or avoidance of such) and the length of commitment between a director and his/her film (especially when that film is finished) parallels neatly the relationships Seongjun has with women.

7 members like this review
99563.small
top reviewer

Its like having the same dream over and over again with a few different details. Each day revealing a little bit more of the kind of person Seongjun is and the people he knows.

1 member likes this review

The plot is simple: man comes back to the big city where he used to live searching for camaraderie, love and sex (though not necessarily in that order), then goes home. The story, however, is but vehicle to explore the intense Uralic mind of Korea through dialogues and behavioral observations.

1 member likes this review
Picture?width=100&height=100
top reviewer

THE DAY HE ARRIVES has a trick up its sleeve: it shows similar events happening several days in a row, but whether the characters are stuck in a loop (à la GROUNDHOG DAY) or just very repetitive is never explicitly decided. The gimmick is interesting, but rather than drawing attention to its own gimmickry, the film uses it as a way to play with its characters and point out how differently situations can end up with minor changes in participants' actions. This is a film I will have to rewatch before I can say anything intelligent about it (it is my first Hong Sang-soo, but I have a feeling the rest might affect me like this too), so stay tuned.

243496.small
top reviewer

The plot of Hong Sang-soo's film is not what makes this movie so magical and interesting. What matters here is who Hong so cleverly interlaces the concept of "time" and "identity" with the idea of a "narrative film"

As we follow Seongjun, a professional filmmaker, on his almost aimless stroll through the streets of a small village, Bukchon, a number of ideas related to "perception", "identity" and "time" are brought forward. Hong Sang-soo has intentionally applied a mundanely realistic style in filming this stroll. By the time the viewer realizes that Seongiun's mundane walk has led him into an almost surrealistic sort of existential void, it is too late. We are hooked. And we have entered into an experience in which it is impossible to know if Seongiun's stroll is taking place within one or several different days.

A great cinematic experience from all angles.

117475.small
top reviewer

3 1/2_really strange really odd_a lot of repetition _the same odd scene & characters_ a guy who is lost and maybe everyone else too_but it's sweet & well done

15aad2274870752475a2102466922c34?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0051
top reviewer

This movie shows Korean social scene and thoughts and conversations that are commonly seen in real Korean society, especially among mid-age or mid-career group. Nothing particularly great about the movie. It's not uncommon to see Korean film about a man, especially movie director who wonders around or talk and describes their thoughts or who tries to find something that he doesn't' exactly know what it is.. Movie director is highly admired job among college students/actor or actress candidates and often these directors are often described as a thinker in movies. Overall, I didn't think the movie had any deep or memorable message or plot for the audience.

Confusing in the most pleasurable way.

Conversations--both meaningful and laden with pleasantries. Coincidences too. A filmmaker experiences a few days in Seoul in 'film time'. Scenes are rewound, played again with slightly different results. Characters develop relationships (albeit mostly fleeting) because of a chance occurance, or word spoken here or there. Director Yoo ambles around the city from bar to bar. Nothing is moving him or the plot of the moving forward. Because of this, his existence for these few days is tinged with sadness, longing, loneliness, but maybe it needn't feel that way.

Young Koreans discuss Kimchee recipes, among other things.

i was bored