In his third feature, South-Korean auteur Jang Kun-Jae portrays the inhabitants of a rural Japanese town, Goyo. The picture he sketches in his characteristically modest and subtle way is that of an ageing community slowly grinding to a halt.
A Midsummer's Fantasia opens in black-and-white with the visit of a Korean director to Gojo. Assisted by an interpreter (Kim Sae-Byuk) and a local official (Iwase Ryo), he scouts locations for his new film. In the second part, shot in colour, actors Kim and Iwase return, but then as an actress and a young kaki fruit farmer. In rambling scenes reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995), a cautious romance blossoms.
In this sensitive, personal and slightly melancholy drama, Jang, whose two previous films (Eighteen and Sleepless Night) were also screened in Rotterdam, again shows himself to be one of the greatest talents of independent Korean cinema.