Christopher Li’s review published on Letterboxd:
That Donald Trump jumpscare really got me LOL
I feel like when dealing with a film as illusively ambient as Burning, its easy to immedietely label its subtle ambiguity as a pretentious effort to mask a film's hollow interior. But often it simply takes some patience and thought to start constructing meaning through interpretation. The film is surprisingly indirect, almost completely depriving the viewer of a specific direction which affords them the opportunity to engage with the story, the characters, and the film's very inticate web of themes on their own terms.
"There is no right or wrong there, just the morals of nature. The morals of nature are like simultaneous existence". I really did love the metaphysical angle this movie approaches its subject through. A truly complex, yet wildly accessible meditation on the irreconcilable nature of reality itself.
I remember watching this video-essay a few weeks ago that gave a brief overview of the film industry in South Korea, and the essayist talked about how as the contemporary era snuck in, films produced by the country began addressing and often confronting many of the societal issues that plagued the country (obviously, I'm not an expert on this), but the way the film depicts socio-economic classifications, violence, and emotional isolation really does echo a lot of what rings true to me when I think about the side of South Korea that doesn't often get addressed with all the glitz and glamour that often seems to define the country's modern cultural status.
Lots to take in, this movie could be headed for 5 star territory upon a rewatch, but we'll see!