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SPA NIGHT Reviews & Press - part 1

We are humbled and overwhelmed by the amazing reception that SPA NIGHT is getting! Here are some of our favorite reviews and press from the last few days after we opened at the Metrograph in NYC.

New York Times Review (we are a Critics' Pick!!!)
"...it would be easy to categorize this cool, exquisitely observant first feature by the Korean-American filmmaker Andrew Ahn as a gay movie. But it is much more. The film is a contemplation of the loneliness, tension and anxiety of outsiders pursuing a piece of the American dream."

The Wrap Review
"Ahn smartly enlists the talents of cinematographer Ki Jin Kim in scenes that recall Tom Ford‘s immaculate “A Single Man.” Together, Ahn and Kim approach moments of sensuality subtly, as the camera languidly wades into the steamy saunas and the monochromatic showers where David’s interest in the unknown begins to percolate. He’s simultaneously frightened and enlivened by the possibilities of touching a man. Neither obtuse nor obvious, “Spa Night” finds the perfect balance in communication. "

The Playlist Review
"Managing to track the emotions, shooting everything from a clinical point of view, “Spa Night” is beautifully executed, and marks an impressive debut from Ahn."

Film Journal Review
"An instant classic of Asian-American, gay...oh hell, just cinema. This ethnic and sexual immersion is as richly rewarding as it is quietly and impressively achieved."
"...Ki Jin Kim's handsome, richly hued cinematography is a huge asset, capturing in human detail the slightest looks which can mean so much, as well as the full seraglio-like, sweaty sensuality of the bathhouse."

Village Voice Review
"Heartbreaking coming out drama Spa Night finds liberation in the sauna"

Filmmaker Magazine Interview
“I think drama is often more interesting if it springs from love instead of hate or anger”

Jezebel Interview
"Scrubbing the myth of the asexual gay Asian man, frame by frame"

Hammer to Nail Interview
"Spa Night is exactly the feature one would hope for from the maker of Dol (First Birthday). It covers similar subject matter and thematic terrain as its predecessor, but with greater narrative complexity, a richer cinematic palette, and a more nuanced exploration of character..."

The Talkhouse - "Embracing my otherness as an Asian American gay filmmaker"
"As my producers and I searched for financing, people continually reminded us that Spa Night was a very niche project. People tried to define the project’s sense of otherness as a fault. I admit that the queer Korean-American community does not necessarily encompass a large percentage of the population. However, I find otherness a poor reason for a lack of audience. Ultimately, both filmmakers and audiences need to embrace the idea that otherness is unifying, not alienating. We express our otherness in an effort to find a community, to create a beacon for others who feel our special brand of otherness."

Angry Asian Man - It exists: Asian-American cinema
"The films exist. The makers exist. If we want people to pay attention to our community, we need to pay attention to each other."

 

Reviews of Spa Night out of Sundance!

We are honored and humbled by all the great reviews and mentions that keep coming in, so we decided to share some of our favorite ones here. For the latest news and press, please follow our SPA NIGHT FACEBOOK PAGE and TWITTER, where we will keep you posted in real time!

Here is the first review of our film, that we woke up to the morning after the premiere, on Rogertebert.com, by Nick Allen:

"A new and necessary voice in indie cinema, he is a gay Korean-American filmmaker, two aspects of identity that inspire an anxious, shattering search for peace of place and identity within this incredible movie competing in Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Competition."
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On Twitch Film, by Jeremy O. Harris:

"Much like its lead, articulation has failed me in the days since watching and processing Andrew Ahn's glorious Spa Night. The film presents itself with such ease and confidence that its easy to miss its complexities at first glance. A friend of mine who saw the movie with me said it in another way, "It's like a masterpiece painting that you could miss in a museum if you weren't looking close enough. It's not showy in it's honesty." 

On IonCinema, by Nicholas Bell:

"...we can’t escape Ahn’s accomplished and beautifully human portrait of a family forced to flounder from one dream deferred to another."

On the Hollywood Reporter, by Boyd van Hoeij:

"...for those willing to fully invest themselves, Spa Night offers a carefully considered story about identity or rather identities, with David having to figure out a way to accommodate his orientation and his position as the only child of Korean immigrants in L.A."

On Variety, by Peter Debruge:

“Spa Night” serves as an homage to the sacrifices first-generation immigrants made in order that their children could achieve their full potential in the States, expanding the concept of “pride” far beyond its protagonist’s gay identity.

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