“About Miracles”: Seeing the “real thing” in Hong Sang-soo’s Woman on the Beach and Éric Rohmer’s Le Rayon vert





Hong Sang-soo, Woman on the Beach, Éric Rohmer, Le Rayon vert, reality, vision


Hong Sang-soo’s cinema is one in which his characters consistently avoid reality, whether by constructing explanatory narratives and patterns or by turning other people into emotionally projected images. Woman on the Beach (2007), I argue, openly diagnoses this tendency and finds instead what one of its characters calls “the real thing.” Placing this film in the context of Hong’s oeuvre as a whole, I explore Hong’s overarching interest in trying to see “the real thing” instead of imaginatively constructing it. And thus, in a career frequently compared to Rohmer’s, Woman on the Beach, with its search for this almost mystical encounter with reality, emerges as Hong’s variation on Rohmer’s own search for what’s real in Le Rayon vert (1986).

Author Biography

Jacob Hovind, Towson University

Jacob Hovind is Associate Professor of English at Towson University. He has published widely on Joyce's epiphany concept and is currently working on a monograph on Joyce's aesthetic theories and cinema.


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How to Cite

Hovind, J. (2021). “About Miracles”: Seeing the “real thing” in Hong Sang-soo’s Woman on the Beach and Éric Rohmer’s Le Rayon vert. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 9(1), 246–291. https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2021.326