“There’s a lot of talking in your films, but the dialogue never rubs me the wrong way,” says Sunhee (Song Sunmi) about the work of director Byungsoo (Kwon haehyo), who first visits the building where Sunhee runs her small restaurant to persuade the building’s owner (and his old friend) Ms Kim (Lee Hyeyoung) to take on his estranged daughter Jeongsu (Park Miso) as an apprentice in her interior design business. Byungsoo is played by Kwon Haehyo – not just a regular in the films of prolific director Hong Sangsoo, but here presented as a stand-in for Hong himself.

Confined to a single space – the interiors and exteriors of Ms Kim’s multi-storeyed, part-residential building – but making large, unexpected leaps in chronology, Hong’s monochrome tale of talk and time shows us where Byungsoo’s private and public selves differ, and how his relationship with all these women (and with his own work) shifts.

Anton Bitel