As the Writer’s Guild of America enters a strike in L.A., Motion State stands in solidarity with writers and in support of their proposals for fair wages, rights and benefits for writers’ rooms, restrictions on AI involvement in screenwriting, and more. As if to underscore the importance of the writer, Closing Night at this year’s Independent Film Festival Boston saw the area premiere of Celine Song’s beautifully-written feature debut Past Lives. Song, a WGA member, spoke explicitly in “fierce support” of the strike prior to the screening. But the powerful writing of Past Lives made that point itself, actually, and it’s one of the most surefooted film debuts so far this year.
Na Young is twelve years old when her family immigrates to Canada from Seoul, and her bond with her best friend Hae Sung is effectively broken by the 6,000-mile remove. They connect via Skype years later, after a twenty-something Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) seeks her out following his mandatory military service. But Na Young is now Nora (Greta Lee), living on her own in New York City, and their reconnection is short-lived. Another twelve years pass before the pair are reunited again, but they’re adults now. Nora is married to Arthur (John Magaro), Hae Sung is an engineer, and it’s possible that they’re entirely different people than the pair of young friends who knew each other in Seoul a lifetime ago.