La Caméra de Claire
Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
VIFF favourite Hong Sangsoo has, over years of prodigious output, risen to the top ranks of international art cinema. His films may feel casually made, but they’re always entertaining, always profound and, most of all, always funny. In this one Isabelle Huppert, the reigning queen of French cinema, plays the titular Claire. Attending the Cannes festival for a friend’s film premiere, she meets Manhee (Kim Minhee of last year’s hit The Handmaiden). The two strike up a friendship; bonding, booze and laughs ensue. Claire loves to take photos of people; she thinks that being photographed changes a person, and as the film plays out, we see that she may be right.
Often likened to the late Eric Rohmer, Hong is in fact a genuinely unique artist. This film’s title is a nod to Rohmer’s Claire’s Knee, but as Hong pays homage he may also be facetiously responding to all the critics who have handcuffed him to the late, great Frenchman. In any event, he stands well apart from any influence; the clever plotting, narrative rhyming effects and gentle gender satire are his and his alone.
"[E]asy on the eye and strewn with humorous gems… A short and sweet divertissement."—Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter