The Womans Past
Why are you late? (Heon-joon)
I was dragged to a motel (by an upperclassman). I was raped there. (Seon-hwa)
You can only become clean again by having sex with me. You know that, right? (Heon-joon)
I want to be clean. Make me clean. (Seon-hwa)
Sung Hyun-ah: I dont want to deny my past and say, I didnt do it. Even the book of nude photos. I want to brush it all away with this movie: my past, peoples prejudices, everything that followed me around for years like a tag. This movie allowed me to channel positive energy from the director and my costars.
Hong Sang-soo: I hit it off with Sung Hyun-ah. It wasnt so much her acting ability or her existing image, but her passionher desire to find something new through this movie I could sense her real personality, not her public one as an actress.
You have hairy legs. (Moon-ho, postcoital)
I doI havent shaved in a while. (Seon-hwa)
Oh So women shave their legs (Moon-ho)
Hong: The movie takes a good hard look at the fictitiousness of our beliefs through the act of sex. Heon-joon is bound by his conceptions of chastity, whereas his underclassman Moon-ho is engrossed by the body, saying stupid things like, Oh, you got a new hairstyle, Your moans are so pretty, You have hair on your legs. I find that contrast amusing. For me, sex scenes are never just action; theyre a piece of the puzzle, embedded with conversation or conflict.
Sung: You know, like when you go on a group blind date in college. A speck of pepper in the guys teeth can gross you out. I think thats what being young is. Being freaked out by leg hair, and deciding to break up because of it.
(In fact, director Hong instructed Sung to drink soju, sleep on the set, and start shooting as soon as she awoke, complete with the inevitable puffy face and husky voice. The director told me that the heroine of a movie cant always wake up pristine and beautiful, Sung laughingly remarked, like Vivien Leigh, stretching and chirping, Ah, that was nice.)
Woman is the Future of Man
What did I say? Didnt I tell you not to do that? (at Moon-ho, as he gropes under her skirt)
I honestly didnt hear you. (Moon-ho)
Men are all the same. I might really have gone to bed with you if youd just held me. (Seon-hwa)
Hong: The title is overly conclusive. But no matter how many times I hear that phrase, it leaves me dazed and unconvinced. I was interested in that sense of divergence.
The title doesnt necessarily have to explain the movie, right? So what, if you say, Woman is the future of man ? I dont decide on a clear message, and then come up with the appropriate details to convey that message. I work the other way around: the pieces (details) come to me first, and I assemble them into a whole. I only realize, Oh, so that was what I wanted to express, after Ive seen the audiences reaction. You love your own children (movies), of course, but usually its the teachers and friends that give you the more objective description of their personalities.
Sung: Are men vulgar? No, I think theyre really adorable. I find their misguided bravado kind of cute, like when Heon-joon asks Seon-hwa to forgive him and says, Burn me (with your cigarette). Men as animals are true to their feelings. In the movie, two men suddenly remember a woman from their mutual past while drinking, and spontaneously go looking for her. And the woman takes these men into her arms and her bed. A woman like thatwhether shes of the past or of whats to comecan be the future of man. Men should remember, though, that the future is not always going to be a happy one.