Set in the near future, Jake’s family owns an android named Yang who appears Asian. Yang serves as a guardian and surrogate brother to the family’s adopted Chinese daughter Mika for cultural familiarity in her upbringing. One day, the family competes in a virtual dance-off, and Yang stops working after the event. Since Mika heavily relies on him, her father tries hard to repair him. However, because he purchased the android from a reseller, he is not eligible to receive any assistance from the original manufacturer. He is even told to donate the android as “techno-sapiens” to a science and technology museum. Meanwhile, he realizes that Yang, unlike other androids, has a unique feature to store memories. He starts looking into Yang’s memory bank and discovers his personal memories and life which Jake assumed he already knew.
Kogonada is a South Korean-born American writer-director known for his debut feature, Columbus (2017) and his recent Apple TV+ series, Pachinko. Before making films, he was famous as a film writer and scholar with video essays on filmmakers, including Wes Anderson, Ozu Yasujiro, and Stanley Kubrick. Influenced by Ozu, he took the name of Ozu’s screenwriter, Noda Kogo, for his pseudonym. In this second feature, adapted from Alexander Weinstein’s short story, Saying Goodbye to Yang, Kogonada renders a reflective, minimalistic sci-fi world with his unique sensibility. Powered by Colin Farrell’s thoughtful acting, one of the actor´s best performances to date, the entire cast including Justin H. Min, a Korean-American actor, brought their best and made the film well-refined. The poignant original score by Aska Matsumiya, a Japanese composer based in LA, and the Oscar-winning composer Sakamoto Ryuichi leaves a lasting contemplative impression. [CHUN Jinsu]
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