South Korea / 2023
81 min. / Original version with English subtitles
A resonant examination of the relational, Yoo Heong-jun’s clever and considered URIWA SANGGWANEOPSI (Regardless of Us) is one of this year’s auspicious debuts. Troubling connections between the spoken and unspoken, an event and its retelling and fiction and reality, the film’s philosophical inquiries into the nature of recto and verso are mirrored in its sly, bifurcated structure.
Recovering from a stroke, the middle-aged actress Hwa-ryeong receives a string of visits from collaborators on a new film. Alongside well-wishes, the guests share fragmentary details of its plot and its recent premiere alongside revelations of previously unspoken sentiments. From here the film shifts to its second half. Centered on an actress played by Cho – now nameless – figures from the earlier scenes reappear, their relations now wholly reoriented, with any correspondence to everything we’ve seen before left open to interpretation, interrogation and speculation. Shot in black and white with a tendency towards long takes, URIWA SANGGWANEOPSI is admirably understated and spacious, leaving room for Yoo’s finely calibrated script, equally precise performances, and the reflections that both invite. (Jesse Cumming)
Production Yoo Heong-jun. Production company Neungso Film co. (Seoul, Republic of Korea). Director Yoo Heong-jun. Screenplay Yoo Heong-jun. Cinematography Yoo Heong-jun, Kang Hyunjung. Editing Yoo Heong-jun. Music Yoo Heong-jun. Sound design Yoo Heong-jun. Sound Hong Seulki, Lee Heewoo. Production design Lee Subin. Assistant director Lee Heewoo, Park Minsoo. With Cho Hyunjin, Cho Soyeon, Kwak Minkyu, Kim Misook, Choi Sungwon, Il Kang, Lee Yanghee, Park Sunghwan.
World sales M-Line Distribution
Yoo Heong-jun, born in Seoul, Republic of Korea in 1993, he studied film directing. URIWA SANGGWANEOPSI is his first feature-length film.
Films: 2018: Adeulttaldeul / Sons and Daughters (35 min.). 2020: Pineun janchitjibeseo heullyeora / Let It Bleed on the Banquet (39 min.). 2023: Uriwa sanggwaneopsi / Regardless of Us.