Ha Ha Ha
Directed by Lee Hwan-gyeong
27 July 2012
The film's title is a word play on the Chinese character for "summer" as well as the more obvious connotation in English. Shortly before emigrating to Canada, the aspiring film director Moon-kyung has a drink with his younger friend, the film critic Joong-sik. While talking they discover that they have each recently travelled to the seaside town of Tong-yeong. They agree to tell their stories, recounting only the good memories, not realizing that that they have in fact, spent their time in the same places, with the same people, without ever running into each other. These narrated flashbacks, shot in a purposefully nondescript visual style, set the stage for all the awkward social encounters and petty misunderstandings that animate the film.
Since his debut in 1996, Hong Sang-soo has established himself as one of Asia's most original and talented directorial voices. His films appear ordinary on the surface, but they reveal uncomfortable truths about human relationships in a complex, candid manner. The film is decribed Asia as a "wry comedy about two friends - a film director and a movie critic - who reminisce about their intertwining lives and relationships". Ha Ha Ha was the recipient of the Cannes Film Festival's top prize in Un Certain Regard in 2010 and was also presented to acclaim in the World Cinema section at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles in the same year.