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Fire + Water + Power

December 3, 2023

Fire + Water + Power

(Dir. Hong Sangsoo, Pedro Costa, and Jean-Luc Godard, 1988/2023)

Co-presented by MUBI!






2220 Arts + Archives
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

About the program:

In this exclusive triple bill, the new feature by South Korean maverick Hong Sangsoo will proceed the latest work by Portuguese master Pedro Costa and a little-seen classic by Jean-Luc Godard, chosen carte blanche by Costa to screen alongside his short.

In Water (Dir. Hong Sangsoo, 2023, 61 min)

A trio of friends venture to the rocky shores of a large island to shoot a film together. The director, Seongmo (Shin Seokho), recently gave up acting and has decided to make a film with his own money. His former classmate, Sangguk (Ha Seongguk), will operate the camera and Namhee (Kim Seungyun) will act in it. The only problem: Seongmo hasn’t decided what to make.

Hong's most overtly experimental work to date, In Water reveals the director at the height of his allusory powers. The story is simple: three friends set out to make a film, and then they do it. But with bold formal choices and his signature impulse toward the uncanny, Hong evokes infinite mysteries and hints at whole worlds lurking below the surface of everyday reality. 

The Daughters of Fire (Dir. Pedro Costa, 2023, 9 min)

The story of three young Cape Verdean sisters upon their arrival at a foreign European port, in an attempt to escape another devastating eruption of the Fogo volcano. In this unknown country, they roam, hand in hand, evoking their secret fears through music and singing.

The Power of Speech (Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1988, 25 min)

In the middle of the night a young man calls a young woman at the other side of the world. There are too many contrasts: when night falls in his world, she is just waking up. Their voices, their reproaches, fly through the universe and are flung back to earth by a satellite. In quickly changing images accompanied by the music of Bach and Cohen, the earthly, the banal is confronted with the heavenly, the things we don't want to understand with the things we cannot understand. With texts by Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Baudelaire. Presented digitally, from a file personally provided to Pedro Costa by Jean-Luc Godard. 

TRT: 95 min


"Hauntingly beautiful." —Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

"A fearless, genuine experiment." —Nicolas Rapold, Artforum

"A gently gorgeous delight...suffused with the haziness of a half-forgotten memory." —Thomas Flew, Sight and Sound


"Beguiling. It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that [these] images are like no others being produced today, awesome in their absolute strangeness and density of detail, and yet they are also part of a grand continuum with the phantoms of film history." —Christopher Small, MUBI Notebook


"With Puissance de la parole, the cinema, as Chabrol said, becomes an 'art of relationships,' following the first age of the ontological art (Rossellini, Renoir) which has come to pass. The death of ontology. Puissance de la parole figures among the top ten films in the history of cinema. And this evaluation seems fairly timid and deprecating to me. I have a hard time imagining that in the centuries ahead another film will surpass it." —Luc Moullet, Bref 

(Available to download after screening date)

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