Burning. 2018. South Korea. Directed by Lee Chang-dong. 148 min.
A noirish love triangle goes up in flames in this liberal adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s enigmatic short story Barn Burning. A young delivery man, Jong-su, is drawn to Hae-mi, whose flirty and dreamy presence mystifies him. When she takes off for a long trip and returns with a handsome and equally opaque man, Ben, Jong-su is pulled into a world entirely unfamiliar to him. Lee Chang-dong’s first directorial effort in eight years (since Poetry) is a finely crafted study of existential angst and obscure desires. Steven Yeun delivers one of the year’s knockout performances as Ben, projecting pleasantry, hollowness, and menace in equal measure. Courtesy of Well Go USA