Directed by Sang-soo Hong and released in it’s home country of South Korea in 2011.
The Day He Arrives is a very interesting look at relationships and the emotional barriers that are put up by both men and women. I’m a big fan of directors who use long takes in scenes and it’s really strange here because almost every scene is done in one take even though there’s a barrel load of dialogue in each of them – it must have been very hard for the actors but that just brings out the superb performances from each of the cast.
Throughout the film we see the same sets and the same supporting characters over and over again – some not related to the plot at all – but unlike most filmmakers the repetition is explained through dialogue and story which makes this quite unique. It’s also interesting to take note of the voice over which chimes in every time the main character receives a text message, further delving into the main character’s mind – something which you don’t normally see in any film with any of it’s characters.
Another great technique used by the director is the zooms – they happen halfway through takes and they never really focus on anything except the characters, we rarely get a shot of one character on their own and I don’t think there’s a single close up in the film.
Regardless of that we still feel the characters’ emotions as we would in any other film and in that respect the director is doing something very special with these techniques. I look forward to seeing more of the directors work.