Open main menu

Hong Sang Soo (홍상수) is a South Korean film director and screenwriter.

Hong Sang-soo
Hong Sang-soo cropped.jpg
Hong Sang-soo on the set of Night and Day, 5 September 2007
Seoul, South Korea
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1996–present
(m. 1985; sep. 2016)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHong Sang-su
McCune–ReischauerHong Sangsu

Early lifeEdit

Hong Sang Soo's parents owned the film production company Cinetel Soul.[3] Hong took the entrance exam and entered the theater department at Chung-Ang University in South Korea. He then studied in the United States where he received his bachelor's degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his master's at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Hong made his directorial debut at age 35 with The Day a Pig Fell into the Well in 1996.

Hong's Woman is the Future of Man (2004) was his first film to screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.[3]

Hong's films have also screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival.[4]

Hong has received the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for Hahaha, the Silver Leopard Award for Best Director at the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival for Our Sunhi, and the Golden Leopard at the 2015 Locarno International Film Festival for Right Now, Wrong Then.

Film styleEdit

There are certain elements that are commonly found in Hong's films. A typical Hong film highlights a theme of domestic realism with many of the scenes set on residential streets, cafes, hotels, schools, and in the stairwells of apartment buildings.[3] Characters in the film are seen walking around the city, drinking soju, and having sex. The main characters in his films are often movie directors or actors, and scenes typically consist of a single shot, often beginning and ending with a camera zoom. The budgets for his movies average about $100,000.[4]

Hong is often spontaneous when shooting, delivering the day's scene on the morning of the shoot and frequently changing stories while on set.[3] He rarely prepares scripts in advance. Hong instead begins with a basic guideline and writes his scenes on the morning of the filming day, making changes throughout the day.[4] Hong starts the filming day at 4 a.m. when he begins to write the dialogue for that day's shoot.[5] Hong also develops close relationships with the actors over alcohol and cigarettes and sometimes shoots certain scenes while the actors are under the influence.[6][7]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2016, Hong was reported to be having an extramarital affair with actress Kim Min-hee who appeared in the 2015 film Right Now, Wrong Then.[16] At the Seoul premiere of On the Beach at Night Alone in March 2017, Hong admitted his affair with the actress, who was also present.[17][8]



National AwardsEdit

International AwardsEdit


  1. ^ "Director Files for Divorce Over May–September Romance". Chosunilbo.
  2. ^ "Director Hong Sang-soo fails to settle divorce, going to court".
  3. ^ a b c d Carew, Anthony (2015). "Expectedly unexpected: Repetition and understatement in the films of Hong Sang-Soo". Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine (186): 82–87. ISSN 0312-2654. OCLC 7128543000.
  4. ^ a b c Rapold, Nicolas. “Films of Hong Sang-Soo Capture Pleasures and Pratfalls of Attraction.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 May 2017,
  5. ^ Lopate, Phillip. “The Discreet Charm of Hong Sang-Soo.” The New York Review of Books, 7 Dec. 2017,
  6. ^ Marshall, C. (2013, June 11).
  7. ^>
  8. ^