South Korea, 2018, 147 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Lee Chang-dong, Not Rated, Korean with English subtitles, Well Go USA
“Cannes delivers a triumph with Lee Chang-dong’s slow-Burning masterwork.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
“Burning dazzled brightest in Cannes this year - there is no better filmmaker in the world today than Lee Chang-dong.” – Nick James, Sight & Sound
“Steven Yeun proves that he’s a star, even if the American industry hasn’t figured that out.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Expanded from Haruki Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning,” the new feature from Korean master Lee Chang-dong begins by tracing a romantic triangle of sorts: Jongsu, an aspiring writer, becomes involved with a woman he knew from childhood, Haemi, who is to embark on a trip to Africa. She returns some weeks later with a fellow Korean, the Gatsby-esque Ben (Steven Yeun, The Walking Dead), who has a mysterious source of income and a very unusual hobby. The film accumulates a series of unanswered questions and unspoken motivations to conjure a totalizing uncertainty and quietly bends the contours of the thriller genre to brilliant effect.
Burning won the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and is Korea’s Official Entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.