Right Now Then Wrong

Many video essays that use on-screen texts struggle with finding the right balance between words and images. How much text do you need to make your (analytical or critical) point? How much is too much, and when do the written words encroach upon the footage in such a way that it becomes nigh impossible to read and look at the same time?


Limiting the amount of on-screen text is an obvious solution. But in this experimental effort, prolific video essay maker Kevin B. Lee doubles down – quite literally – on the use of on-screen texts. He analyses and comments on scenes from Hong Sang-soo’s puzzle (and puzzling) movie¬†Right Now, Wrong Then. Two similar scenes from that movie are played side-by-side, while no less than three different streams of written text compete for our attention (and that’s not counting the subtitles on the Korean movie). The result is a fascinating experiment that mandates multiple viewings, a stream-of-consciousness commentary that is as thought-provoking as the movie it studies.