The Korea Herald


Hong Sang-soo’s 'A Traveler's Needs' invited to 74th Berlinale

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Jan. 23, 2024 - 14:07

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“A Traveler’s Needs” (Finecut) “A Traveler’s Needs” (Finecut)

South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo’s upcoming “A Traveler’s Needs,” the auteur director's 31st film, will compete in the 74th Berlin International Film Festival, which is slated to take place Feb. 15-25.

This marks the 63-year-old filmmaker’s fifth consecutive invitation to one of the world’s three largest film festivals.

“A Traveler’s Needs” revolves around a woman from France who relies on makkeolli – Korean rice wine – for comfort, plays a child’s recorder in a park and teaches French to two women.

Just like Hong’s other films, this minimalist drama involves a female protagonist and long conversations between the characters.

The film features French actress Isabelle Huppert and Korean actors Kwon Hae-hyo, Lee Hye-young, Ha Sung-kuk and Kim Seung-yoon.

As he generally works with a tight-knit circle of actors, all members of the cast in “A Traveler’s Needs” have previously worked with Hong. The movie is Huppert’s third project with Hong after “In Another Country” (2012) and “Claire’s Camera” (2017). The dialogue contains a mixture of Korean, English and French.

Hong has won four Silver Bear awards at the Berlinale -- for “On the Beach at Night Alone” (2017), “The Woman Who Ran” (2020), “Introduction” (2021) and “The Novelist’s Film” (2022). In 2017, lead actor of "On the Beach at Night Alone" Kim Min-hee also received the Silver Bear for Best Actress. “The Novelist’s Film” brought Hong the Jury Prize in 2022.

Following the world premiere of “A Traveler’s Needs” at Berlinale, the film will be released in the first half of this year in Korea.