Vision of 'Wandering' gets praise from on high

Main poster for ″Wandering″ [SPECIAL MOVIE CITY]

The collaboration between director Lee Sang-il and cinematographer Hong Kyung-po, “Wandering,” was so perfect that it provoked envy in “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho.

Based on a best-selling Japanese novel “Rurou no Tsuki” (2022), “Wandering” is a Korean-Japanese production starring Hirose Suzu and Matsuzaka Tori. The film tells the story of two misunderstood adults who have nobody to turn to except each other.

Director Lee and cinematographer Hong have made a bold statement about child abuse and domestic violence in this adaptation of a Japanese bestseller. In portraying an unlikely bond between two people who are misunderstood by society but also each other, “Wandering” shows that who we are as human beings is not defined by anyone else and that freedom is something we have to seek for ourselves.

Hong was the cinematographer on "Parasite." Bong praised his work on “Wandering” and said he was “jealous” of the work that Hong and Lee did together in a press release.

Actors Matsuzaka Tori, left, and Hirose Suzu, right, in ″Wandering″ [SPECIAL MOVIE CITY]

“I am somewhat ashamed to say so, but I was so jealous of Lee and Hong after watching this film,” said Bong.

“The combination and chemistry between the cinematography and direction of ‘Wandering’ is really something, though I have always known that director Lee was capable of this feat of filmmaking through his previous works such as ‘Rage.’”

Hong has been cinematographer on a number of films that have left their marks on Korean cinema, including “Burning” (2018) by director Lee Chang-dong, “The Wailing” (2016) by Na Hong-jin and “Mother” (2009) also by Bong.

Hong often makes use of elements such as clouds, the moon, the sky, wind and light, and brings “extraordinary sentiment into boundlessly delicate yet spectacular human drama,” according to distributor Special Movie City.

“Wandering” centers on university student-turned-café owner Fumi who offers an umbrella to a young girl, Sarasa, at a park in a chance meeting one rainy day. The events that unfold are unpredictable, and the film spans 15 years in a series of flashbacks and revelations.

Actor Matsuzaka Tori in ″Wandering″ [SPECIAL MOVIE CITY]

The director also praised cinematographer Hong, saying that “each shot was so detailed and powerful,” and that the end result was such that “Wandering” had the “disturbing and bewitching atmosphere of ‘Burning’” and the excitement level just kept rising throughout the film.

“Wandering” opens in theaters in Korea on Jan. 18, in Japan on May 13. It will also be available on domestic streaming service Watcha in the first half of the year.