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3.9
1,244 Ratings

Burning

Directed by Lee Chang-dong
South Korea, 2018
Drama, Mystery

Synopsis

Jong-su, a part-time worker, bumps into Hae-mi while delivering, who used to live in the same neighborhood. Hae-mi asks him to look after her cat while she’s on a trip to Africa. When Hae-mi comes back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met in Africa, to Jong-su.

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Burning Directed by Lee Chang-dong
Burning is a well-crafted film. With Lee, the cinematic style specific to each of his movies is always tied closely to its central concerns. In Burning, this relates not only to the use of light, but also the ways in which he frames even the simplest actions in order to create a ‘cloud’ of the not-quite-visible.
April 18, 2019
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Jongsu doesn’t really understand Haemi’s interest in the ‘Great Hunger’, the Kalahari bushmen’s quest for meaning in life, but the way his resentment of Ben’s privilege and confidence evolves into paranoia and rage matches a global, inchoate anger, especially amongst the young.
January 31, 2019
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It’s a highly discomfiting, richly confounding take on the thriller, with wealthy, viciously indifferent maybe-villain Ben (Steven Yeun) as unsatisfying an object of prey as Jeon Jong-soo’s Haemi is as an object of romantic affection.
January 05, 2019
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What are people saying?

  • Jorge Mourinha's rating of the film Burning

    Slow-burn after reading: quasi-thriller where you’re never sure what’s going on, halfway between an elliptical GREAT GATSBY and a rarefied Hong Sangsoo dream. Mood and obsession alone are not enough to sustain length.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Burning

    Indie Lisboa # 18. Nothing burns except the ending and at the end, when we are already bored with the standardization of language and characters, with the exception of Yoo Ah-In perfomance, always admirable in his permanent existential aphasia.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film Burning

    Rather than sweat fidelity to Murakami, Faulkner, or Fitzgerald, Lee, in his most galvanic feature since Secret Sunshine, treats them the same way he treats everyday objects and facial expressions, siphoning a charge from each--while gulping great gobs of current from Steven Yeun's yawn--to power a battery of symbol and suggestion, on which his protagonist's hunger and need greedily feed.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film Burning

    The further it goes, the more the film is disappointing to me. Trying that hard to install some kind of mystery, well, it is just smoke, bits here and there of ideas never followed, that don´t deserve hours of over analysis. The actors are not to blame but you have to take in consideration that todays spectators are experienced and have seen this a hundred times. And the LCD interview on Mubi doesn´t help his cause.

  • rado's rating of the film Burning

    First disappointment from the master. The emptiness between modern and rural country could have been a short film. There is beauty in things unsaid but there is a limit too. "Come Rain, Come Shine" was a bolder exercise in minimalism.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Burning

    "Some things sure can sweep me off my feet/Burning down the house." Lee Chang-dong's latest is a moody and methodically paced revenge thriller, and easily one of the best examples of its kind since Na Hong-jin's "Yellow Sea." Even in a crowded film year, its depiction of economic rage and sexual obsession holds a unique staying power. Somehow Steven Yuen turned a yawn into one of my favorite film moments of 2018.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Burning

    **1/2. Strange, I saw this movie last night and was then pretty sure that it would be growing on me during the night. In fact, no. Maybe the story and the symbols were too artificial to make a durable effect on my soul or maybe was I simply too tired. Anyway, I don't have the material time to give it a second chance now. A DVD zone last shelf of my library.

  • ig_____or's rating of the film Burning

    A (very) slow-burn, that begins on a bright and romantic-ish mood but moves towards something a little more mysterious and intriguing. The end... I didn't see it coming. It's funny: the film is a constant enigma itself, you're not aware that you're into a thriller until the last half-hour, I think, mostly because it all feels very dreamy and free.

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