Korean Cinema: Sopyonje Responses
The third Blu-ray produced by the Korean Film Archive in is Sopyonje by Im and, at the same time, hard to define the era with the open-ending. Yu-bong, Song-hwa, and Dong-ho, in a family-like relationship with no blood-ties, hurt each. Even so, “Sopyonje” ends optimistically, for it is the pansori and drum .. Sopyonje was a comment upon the relationship a native Korean bears. It's never easy to end a relationship and, as a result, people often get into emotional trouble when they try.
Rather, the camera does not move and is usually positioned in a way so that all the characters can be seen from that location. For instance, in the scene with the men and two women drinking, we see how the camera remains unchanging for a very long time until one of his friends leave.
This seemed interesting as many of the modern films today incorporate various shots in one scene to show the lively and dynamic nature of the movie. The director may have purposely included few shots in one scene as it ties well with the slow progress of the storyline and the gloomy and melodramatic nature of the movie overall.
Close-shots are used very few times throughout the movie when the characters are engaged in a serious conversation or at one moment when Songhwa sings Pansori the whole night with Dongho beating the drum. When she sings alone in the beginning of the film or when with her father, close-shots are never used to show her facial expressions. Rather, the audiences and her surrounding are filmed. However, in this scene towards the end, extreme close shots are used as her emotions showed her inner grief, cries, and a slight happiness that were considered more important than her surroundings.
In terms of the audio part of the movie, since it is a kind of a musical film, most of the sounds included are diegetic in which they are from the objects or people from the movie. I thought that Pansori only meant a dream, goal, hope, and happiness to Songhwa. It was something that she wanted to continuously learn and improve on. His earlier catalog of films demonstrates a virtuosity that his laurels could rest on alone. And Passage To Buddha only supports past praise. Following credits sitting upon a raging fire, the film opens at a crematorium where a child believes he is witnessing the immolation of his father.
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This child is our main character, Son-je Oh Tae-kyung -- Happy Ero Christmas, R-Pointwho heads out into the world to locate his mother, which he attempts to do through the silent display in public areas of a blanket his mother gave him. Along the way he meets such characters as a local village girl named Iryon, a drunken, meat-eating monk named Boburoon Lee Ho-jae -- Segimal, Libera Me who prophesizes that Son-je will live and die on the road, a truck driver who wants to teach him how to meet girls, a blind homeless woman who still professes to love her abusive ex-lover, a prisoner who broke the law by asking for equality, and a doctor of the stars who sees the world's 'quarkiness' as further evidence for Buddhist truths.
Many of these people will reemerge at different moments throughout Son-je's journey.The Breakup - 1 Year After Ending My 8 Year Relationship & Engagement
This journey, however, takes less than direct directions, as is initiated by a scene of subtle humor where two men point Son-je in completely different directions, resulting in Son-je appearing to be headed astray from his path of prophecy.
But just as a Buddhist koan intends to be without an immediate answer, Son-je eventually ends up where he is supposed to be because he eventually realizes he was there all along. Although completed prior to the immaculate productions we would come to expect from South Korean cinema, Jang does a magnificent job creating a mythical world that still feels anchored to reality. Otherworldly mist fills many scenes, and there is a particularly lovely, yellowish dream sequence with Son-je overjoyed that he's stolen a cow, another example of Jang's humor that keeps me smiling, if not outright laughing.
The stealing of this cow leads to Son-je's necessary imprisonment, where he meets one of the teachers along his path, as well as provides him an opportunity to learn the flute for later effect. Lee's performance as the prototypical un-monk-y monk had me wishing for greater screen time for his character, but we the viewer needed to move on from Baburoon just like Son-je. Jang intends Son-je to be seen as a man-child, that is, Son-je's body does not grow along with his years, ala the German film The Tin Drum Volker Schlondorf, Son-je still appears to be about 9 years old even as Iryon, the local village girl, grows into adulthood.
This choice on Jang's part -- we can call Son-je Korean cinema's 'Original Old Boy' -- may result in slightly disturbing scenes for some viewers since women his theoretical age seduce him. As evidence for how some Americans might react, consider that Oklahoma County Courts declared The Tin Drum child pornography in and the local district attorney in Oklahoma City sought to arrest anyone who had ever rented the film.
Eventually, cooler, Bill-of-Rights-cognizant heads capable of holding ambiguity prevailed and The Tin Drum has been rent-able again in Oklahoma County since May Ethically, I am concerned how such scenes are processed for the children performing in them, or ones even more harrowing such as Lee Jung-hyun's role in Jang's A Petal. But Jang appeared to address my concern in the cinema verite of Lies where Jang himself jumps into the frame to comfort one of his actresses who finds herself in an uncontrollable fit of tears.
As for the scenes of adult seduction in Passage To Buddha, I am ashamed to admit America's Puritanical roots can even cause me to react disapprovingly initially, but upon further reflection, holding the scenes rather than reacting to them, I realized the scenes were harmless, nothing beyond brief, closed-mouth kissing and a single butt grope shot. The scenes are definitely not meant to titillate, but to present the Buddhist philosophy that the enlightened must retain childlike perceptions of the world.
A Passage To Buddha continues the exploration of men's relationships to their mothers explored in other Buddhist-themed films, all the way from the classic Hometown of the Heart to 's A Little Monk. Sadly, such disproportionate topic exposition is the result of Korean male domination behind the camera.
Still, Jang's presentation of Korean women's lives has always involved a critical view of their placement by the overarching patriarchy rather than a supportive view. Although both often display women suffering throughout their oeuvres, when comparing Im Kwon-taek's portrayals with Jang's, an interesting difference arises -- whereas Im's women stay and take the suffering, Jang's women most often leave.
And Iryon's later response to a comment by Son-je is demonstrative of this when she replies "Oh, no, I don't like that. But to each his own. And let's hope for an eventual equally declarative 'to each her own. Written and directed by Jang Sun-woo. Cinematography by Yoo Young-gil. Rating received on May 18, Released on June 26, Lee most recently seen in the TV series All-In plays Man-seok, a professional executioner mangnani from the most discriminated butcher caste.
One day he receives a secret commission from a yangban family that one of the condemned be killed without his head being cut off The Korean Confucian emphasis on filial piety mandated that it was a shame to have damaged the body inherited from one's parents.
Man-seok fulfills his end of the bargain, but when the emissary delivering the money turns out to be the daughter of the executed Sug-young, played by Lee Mi-yeon, No. Later, she is arrested by the government and sold to slavery, as the punishment for the female members of a treasonous criminal's family. Manseok, feeling pangs of guilt, rescues her from slavery with the money he has accumulated from commissions and fees. They fall in love with each other and settle down for a peaceful married life.
However, their happiness is sundered apart when the couple gets embroiled in a conspiracy to destroy the enemies of Sug-young's family. The movie will appear clumsy and dated to the majority of the audience seeing it for the first time in early s.
It is literally draped with the hoary cliches of the '80s Korean cinema. Flashbacks are handled maladroitly, usually preceded by choppy close-ups of Lee Duk-hwa's scowling face. Sex scenes are either there to prove that you are watching an adult-oriented movie in other words, pretty pointlessor seemingly inspired by Japanese soft-core porn there is one scene where a yangban lecher keeps slapping a naked lower-class woman with a tree branch while giggling like an idiot: Hee hee hee hee The Korean villages and castle-towns have that "Colonial Williamsburg" look: Finally, the film is scored entirely with heavy-handed, is-that-all-done-on-one-Yamaha-keyboard synthesizer music, cheapening it in the way all too familiar to those who have survived, say, a Menahem Golan film in s.
Sopyonje () < Blu-ray/DVDs < Publication < KOFA - 한국영상자료원
However, as a historical drama I Will Survive is not without merit: Gruesome, realistic details abound during the opening public beheading of the condemned. When the butcher community slaughters a cow, a vat of fresh blood is brought in, considered a treat by the villagers. The yangban literati are portrayed as merciless, hypocritical oppressors Sug-young and the shaman portrayed by Jo Ju-mi are also seen as victims of this oppression due to their lowly status as women, despite their class differences: Largely a journeyman effort, probably intended as a star vehicle for Lee Duk-hwa, I Will Survive nonetheless remains an interesting exploration into the underbelly of the traditional Korean society.
Written and directed by Yoon Sam-yuk. Cinematography by Son Hyeon-chae. Produced by Samyuk Films. Rating received on February 25, Released on August 21, Before reaching its destination, however, the boat is stopped by a group of islanders who refuse to let the coffin land on shore.
Perplexed and frustrated, the son of the deceased argues in vain to let the burial take place, but the inhabitants of the island reject his demands in anger. Events that happened on the island during the Korean War, in which the deceased man played a major role, have left wounds that can not so easily be forgotten. This fourth film by director Park Kwang-su, which glides subtly back and forth from the present into the past, provides an honest and thought-provoking study of the wounds left by the Korean War.
Utilizing a large ensemble cast to create a microcosm of Korean society before and after the war, Park has produced a sober-minded film that succeeds in portraying how the traumas of the past lie close under the surface of life in modern Korea. Though usually thought of as Park's own vision, the film was nonetheless put together by a remarkable collection of future stars of filmmaking.
The screenplay, based on two short stories by Im Chul-woo, was written by Lee Chang-dong Oasis together with Im and the director. The film was executive produced by Park Ki-yong, who would later go on to direct the award-winning Camel s.
The cast is no less diverse and accomplished. Moon Sung-keun plays dual roles as the deceased man in the flashback sequences, and his son in the present. Ahn Sung-ki plays a poet who grew up on the island, who tries to mediate between the two sides in the conflict over the burial. The flashbacks are presented as his own memories as he wanders the island and slowly pieces together what happened.
This film provides a gripping story, in which we only learn the truth of what happened at the very end, but it is also filled with select lines of dialogue and images that are in some ways more memorable than the story itself. It is a happy confluence of historical relevence and aesthetic power that makes this film still so important and interesting today.
Directed by Park Kwang-su. Cinematography by Yoo Young-kil. Rating received on December 2, Released on December 24, Sure, with Park Chul-soo's luscious displays of Korean and non-Korean dishes served up by Song-hee played by Pang Eun-jinone will find oneself hankering for a heaping serving of chigae or fried chicken. However, later on, after the third or fourth retch by Yoon-hee played by Hwang Shin-hyeseeing the film on a full stomach may result in a need to rush to the bathroom as Yoon-hee does so many times in the film.
Actually, I would recommend seeing this film a little hungry.
This way, one is forced to hold the ebb and flow of delicious and disgusting the film serves up. One of the first Korean films to receive a theatre release in the United States,tells the story of two apartment neighbors who represent opposite approaches to their struggles as modern Korean woman. Song-hee gluttons on food, sex, and consumer goods, whereas Yoon-hee refuses all the world has to offer.
Park portrays these characters with touches of the surreal. Yoon-hee could not survive as long as she does in the film taking in nothing but water, nor could she have the healthy body exposed to us with such an eating disorder. The surreal in Song-hee appears in the steps she will take in her consumption.
Still, contained within this surreal, dark tale is a meditation on the plight of Korean women in modern Korean society. Song-hee starts off as the dutiful wife who soon finds that her duties leave her self-fulfillment wanting. Yoon-hee is denied her authentic voice through denial letters from publishers. Instead, she must pimp her words in sex advice columns. Seeing this film for the first time after a handful of Shiris, JSAs, and Chunhyangs, one might find the production value lacking, but as a predecessor to grosser budgets, Park does a wonderful job adding to the feel of the film with his vibrant blues, yellows, and reds, as well as the sounds of slicing and dicing.
As an art film, the dialogue isn't necessarily meant to be natural at times, however, some may find the film heavy-handed in its feminist criticism. Personally, I found it refreshing when I saw it back during its United States release and still find the film valuable.
Pang and Hwang are wonderful in their portrayals, each character struggling to escape the standards society imposes upon them through what little control they have.
As Yoon-hee and Song-hee both look through the fisheye lens that is the peephole of their respective apartments, each tries to return the male gaze to reflect a more liberating future for themselves. Whether or not that's accomplished I can not state here, since that would involve interpreting, thus ruining, the ending. Adam Hartzell"Samgongil, samgongi". Directed by Park Chul-soo.
Screenplay by Lee Suh-goon. Cinematography by Lee Eun-gil. Produced by Park Chul-soo Films. Rating received on April 14, Released on April 21, Space for the crude representation of anti-heroes that defy and criticize social norms" The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema, p66my interest was piqued to jump on the first chance I had to see this film.
Little did I know after solidifying my plans in the form of non-refundable tickets to travel to the 8th edition of the Women's Film Festival in Seoul that the programmers had decided to feature Yeo's directorial debut as one of the four films screened to investigate the 'Korean New Wave', to reexamine the images, narratives, and stardom of women ".
Unable to look before I leapt over the Pacific, I was happy to land on this gem of an opportunity to see what would become my favorite South Korean road movie. Out To The World puts two protagonists out on the film road often traveled by having them stumble into an escape planned by other prisoners while being transferred by bus from one prison to another. An ambivalent fugitive, convicted murderer Song-gun Moon Sung-keun reluctantly lets convicted small-time robber Kyoung-young Lee Kyoung-young - Adada, Corset tag-along as both head towards the north, but not the "North" in Korean political terms, more so an ambiguous space that represents the existential cells within which they are still confined.
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Although escaping the bus, they are still merely traveling from one prison to another. As Kim notes, the Korean title is more properly 'Out of the world', imbuing "the film with a sense of confinement and ineffectualness" Eventually their twosome becomes a threesome after they pick up Hye-jin Shim Hye-jina prostitute who has the good sense to eventually dump the abusive john she is with when they meet her. It is Hye-jin who connects this narrative with the classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as we see these three misunderstoods of society find understanding amongst their own kind hearts and souls.
There are two images that best summarize this film. Images that I brought in with me from the perfectly chosen stills to represent this Out To The World world that Kim chose for his book. These same images continue to stay with me long after my single viewing.
The first is of this triptych of travelers squatting against a dingy, grey wall. Each is huddled up into a solitary ball to survive the literal as well as metaphorical cold that surrounds them.
Rhyming this scene later is a lovely image of Hye-jin bookended by both our fugitives in a platonic cuddle of sincere respect and concern for each others welfare. Rather than a voiceless transference object for the re-workings of masculinity, Hye-jin is a confident woman who demands, and receives, respect from her fellow protagonists. She has a proud moment when we hear her roar at a group of men who catcalled her earlier in the film. She is a valued source of knowledge to our two fugitives who have been separated out from the modern world for so long they have no idea what a cell phone is, let alone how to use one.
And it is Hye-jin who drives all the varied forms of transport they steal and abandon along their travels, even leading a car chase that isn't played up as 'look how cute she is driving so fast' spectacle, but as a necessary moment in the narrative. It is because of this that I want to free up the character of Hye-jin from being seen as merely transitioning from a 'Whore' to a 'Mother' as a psychoanalytic view would convincingly frame.
Instead, I wish to simply see her as a friend of these outcasts. Prostitutes, along with being an archetype of the 'Whore' placed antagonistically up against the 'Mother', are also people trying to make a dollar when the few Help Wanted signs around town are turned around when they come walking up to the door. Thus, prostitutes are as much outsiders as any other outcasted group. This is not to be seen as a disagreement with Kim's take on Hye-jin in his definitive study of portrayals of Korean masculinity in the Korean New Wave.
He was taking a clearly psychoanalytic view that I do not take here. And I know enough to know I don't know enough to speak full-on Lacan. I am just opening up another way of viewing her character in relation to Song-gun and Kyoung-young. These three characters are as much friends, if not more so, as they are psychoanalytic archetypes. And since Hye-jin is truly the exception to the rule of women characters of the Korean New Wave, I want to allow her to be an exception to the rules of Freud and his disciples as well.
It is difficult to do justice to all the historical, sociological, psychological, and political issues Out To The World presents in so small a space. Vital aspects I wish I could explore more fully are the political subtext when the three steal a U. Army truck and the fact that Kyoung-young is the rare leading appearance of a Gay character in South Korean cinema of this time. So I refer you to Kim's chapter on road movies for further discussion.
On a financial note, the film was the third top-grossing South Korean film inwhich would have hopefully led to better things for activist-turned-actor-turned-director Yeo Kyun-dong. Sadly, his next film, Porno Man, tanked and he became a forgotten director in discussions of South Korean cinema. Something I hope will change since his most recent film, Silk Shoes, is such an exemplary work regarding the North Korea imagined by South Koreans.
Adam Hartzell Out to the World "Sesang-bakkeuro". Written and directed by Yeo Kyun-dong. Produced by Ikyoung Film. Released on May 28, A Single Spark Films about historical figures are mostly spoiler-free since the story being told is public knowledge. It was expected that any review of Titanic would talk about the ship sinking.