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Claire’s Camera (Keul-Le-Eo-Ui Ka-Me-La)

Director - Hong Sangsoo - 2017

"Greasy movie"
Korean film set in Cannes and starring Isabelle tells a very plain and yet moving story, with a very French flavour à la Eric Rohmer to it - from the Cannes Film Festival


No, I didn’t overlook it and repeat myself. This is a Korean film set in Cannes and also premiering at the Cannes Film Festival right now. The film features the big star of the event, the emblematic French actress Isabelle Huppert. So it’s only natural that it received a lot of attention and a filled up one of the large theatres of the Palais des Festivals.

It’s also a good film. It tells the story of the film saleswoman Jeon Manhee (Kim Minhee), who is made redundant from job her while in Cannes for the premiere of a film by the director So Wansoo (Jeong Jinyoung). Her female boss accuses her of dishonesty, but in reality she’s being dismissed because she had sex with the filmmaker, with whom her boss also her a relation. Meanwhile, the teacher poet Claire (Isabelle Huppert) casually meets both the director and Manhee, and she develops a bond with the young and pretty lady.

Claire always carries a camera around and takes pictures of most people she meets. She wants immortalise qualities in some sort of Dorian Gray way, arguing that people change very quickly, even within a few hours. Huppert is excellent, conveying profundity in the most banal actions. There are some moments of awkward silence – probably due to the cultural differences between the French and the Korean – which are both funny and moving. Huppert isn’t just the master of the dysfunctional. She’s also very good at the mundane.

The serendipitous meets, the small talk, the triviality of the events, the placid attitude of the characters and the slow pace of the movie are very much reminiscent of the late French filmmaker Eric Rohmer. Both male directors have a very female sensitivity, and they know how to touch viewers with a simple and straight-forward language, devoid of complex tricks and epic twists. This is very human cinema, arresting for its simplicity.

Claire’s Camera is showing as part of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, as part of the Special Section. DMovies is following the event live, and bringing t he dirtiest picks  firsthand and exclusively for you. Follow us on Twitter for the latest Festival updates.

Hong Sangsoo is one of the biggest exponents of Korean cinema right now, and he has three films right now showing in Cannes. Click here for our review of the equally Rohmerian but much less effective On The Beach at Night Alone, which showed at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

Also stay tuned for our review of Michael Haneke’s much awaited Happy End, also starring Isabelle Huppert.

"Greasy movie"

By Victor Fraga - 21-05-2017

By Victor Fraga - 21-05-2017

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more tha...

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