Woman Is the Future of Man Image
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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Two men pursue a woman from their past in this drama from South Korea.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mr. Hong is not yet the equal of Mr. Antonioni, but it has become increasingly difficult to see intellectually stimulating, aesthetically bold films like this in American theaters.
  2. Behind the dry humor is a sense of hollowness in the two men who obliviously fall back into old patterns of reckless, loveless sex without missing a beat.
  3. 75
    Viewers not accustomed to Hong's style of leisurely paced filmmaking - long, static takes with lots of talking - might be tempted to leave early. If they stick around, however, they might find themselves becoming fans of the cerebral South Korean auteur.
  4. 60
    Woman Is the Future of Man is doomed to infuriate, and its scrutiny of disconnected beings, filmed in long, hold-your-breath takes, might feel like old hat to anyone reared on Antonioni, yet Hong has a grace and stealth of his own, and his scenes tend to tilt in directions that few of us would dare to predict.
  5. We're accustomed to an omniscient understanding of what movie characters, particularly in dramas about love and loss, are thinking, but Hong distributes information with a saline drip. Often, of course, his two lonely fools don't quite know what they're thinking, either--Woman can sometimes come off like an introverted "Carnal Knowledge" with two Jack Nicholsons.
  6. The danger in Hong's procedure is obvious. Dramatists learned long ago that it is risky to include a static character because he may so easily bore the audience.
  7. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    40
    A romantic and philosophical muddle.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. ChadS.
    Apr 16, 2007
    8
    Relatively late in "Woman is the Future of Man"(at a soccer park), Mun-ho(Ji-tae Yu) daydreams about a sit-down encounter with his students, Relatively late in "Woman is the Future of Man"(at a soccer park), Mun-ho(Ji-tae Yu) daydreams about a sit-down encounter with his students, in which a red scarf(the same scarf he has already received by a male student) is personally wrapped around his neck by a pretty coed. Mun-ho joins them for drinks at a bar and is followed home by the girl who helped keep her teacher's neck warm. What eventually ensues in their motel room is the same sexual act we saw Munho engaged in with Seon-hwa(Hyeon-a Seong) earlier in the film. Having learned since that Mun-ho is capable of interrupting the omniscient narrator's job of constructing an infallible mis-en-scene, we question if Seon-hwa really performed fellatio on him. In the past, Mun-ho proved to be an unsuccessful lover(prone to premature ejaculation), so perhaps he's avenging his disposition as a lousy lay by subjugating Seon-hwa's image through the use of fantasy. "Woman is the Future of Man" contains a great deal of nudity and sex, but this scene feels gratuitous because it doesn't make intellectual sense(Seon-hwa and Hyeon-gon(Tae-woo Kim) had just spent the night together); it makes their friend look promiscuous. This attribute might be born from Mun-ho's mind, not the filmmaker's. The non-linear storytelling(early on, before the two friends reunite with Seon-hwa) is also his fault. "Woman is the Future of Man" makes you think; it makes you wonder who has control over the narrative. Expand