Without giving anything away, i can report that the mystery of soo-ah's Doppelgänger is resolved through the display of a kind of karmic symmetry, too strange to be a coincidence, too natural to be a deliberate act. (It is allegedly inspired by a similar true incident that took place in Armenia and was witnessed first-hand by the director) Has soo-hyun just witnessed a miracle? Whatever his interpretation of this experience may be, the film suggests, he is now happy with the knowledge that his faith has been tested and proven to be real. Pruning the Grapevine, completely indifferent to the thematic obsessions and consumer fads that dominate mainstream Korean cinema today, is a richly rewarding film to open-minded viewers, dramatically powerful and authentically spiritual. I can hardly wait for Min boung-hun's next project, supposedly a taboo-breaking love story, and only hope that we get to see it before 2011. ( kyu hyun Kim ) beautiful Sunday jin Kwang-kyo's debut beautiful Sunday tells two stories to tell one story.
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He confesses to the dean that he wishes to leave the seminary, but the latter instead assigns him to a monastery in a remote countryside, supervised by the terse but warm-hearted Father moon (ki joo-bong). He adjusts well to the austere monastic life, until one day he runs into helena, a young nun who is a dead ringer for su-ah (lee min-jung again). Pruning the Grapevine is the third film directed by the russia-educated Min boung-hun. His previous feature films, Flight of the bee (1999) and Let's Not Cry (2002 were set in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, respectively, and were made with a local cast. This is the first time min has directed a korean cast with a screenplay written in Korean language (authored by the director and yoo dong-shik). Grapevine is an overwhelmingly sincere film, well-mannered and respectful, that takes its subject, the quest for genuine faith in God, absolutely seriously. It rivals Secret Sunshine in its thorough immersion in the Christian Weltanschauung, so much so that non-Korean viewers who tend to think of, say, spring, summer., festooned with the signs of chicly Orientalist, mock-buddhist "spirituality as representative of Korean cinema may well ask in befuddlement. I might add, too, that Catholicism has been around in Korea for 230 years and has produced 103 officially canonized saints: if Catholicism is not "Korean" then the pork-potato stew accompanied by shots of soju is sure as heck not Korean either. (look up since when Koreans started eating potatoes) viewers who cannot quite accept the theological premise assignment of the film might still be drawn in by min's astute and patient directorial guidance that keeps the narrative humming, albeit on a low octave. He eschews overt dramatic gestures or button-pushing tactics but all the same extracts superbly nuanced performances out of not only the young leads but also veteran ki joo-bong, who invests Father moon with his customary endearing qualities as an archetypical Korean patriarch as well. Obviously an unassuming low-budget production, Grapevine still features strikingly beautiful cinematography by a team of young camera-men (Kim jeong-won, kim jae-gwang, lee byung-hoon and others particularly impressive in its use of sunlight.
The coda at the end of this film was perfect for. Like so-yeon, i was alone in a coffeehouse writing this first draft. Summer loves are not meant to last. Their interim status frees them up to be something else, tests for ourselves to see what it is we really want out of our partners, to realize how we act and react with various types of partners. Regardless of the less than healthy decisions so-yeon has made, she is treated like an adult in Sung's hands, allowed to make her own mistakes. She is permitted the adult space to realize she is both strong and weak. She's a liar for now, but the truth isn't very far away. ( Adam Hartzell ) Pruning the Grapevine soo-hyun (seo jang-won, The Unforgiven a catholic seminary student, is going through a personal crisis. About to take the vow of life-long celibacy, he has a bad break-up with his girlfriend soo-ah (lee min-jung, someone Special ).
She doesn't want hyun-jae there because he'll ruin her replanned plans, causing her to replan yet again, to lie yet again. So she lies to avoid yet another lie. And it is this practice of lying that one hopes she will address during her moments of reflection. Hopefully she will become aware that in such a practice of lying she isn't lying for Min-hwan, but lying for herself. Or better yet, she is lying to herself. (One of her more interesting lies is to say she's "Korean-American" in order to acquire morning-after pills from a pharmacist.) Still, saying dropping off at the airport is 'so korean' speaks a truth that resonated with Koreans in the audience at Busan. And yet by having the character elaborate that she needs time alone to reflect, sung underscores for me why i have kept my focus on south Korean film. It is exactly these moments alone with the characters that allow self for reflection on my life, how it affects those around me, and how their lives affect mine.
So-yeon knows hyun-jae is a nice guy and that her friend is correct in her evaluation of hyun-jae, but her friend is also wrong. Those who claim she can't see can't see that hyun-jae just doesn't work for who so-yeon is right now regardless how nice. Eventually, so-yeon will hopefully see this mean streak in her as what it is, a sign that either something in the relationship needs to be addressed or she needs to close that chapter on the relationship. And I want to close this chapter on another important south Korean film for me by coming to so-yeon's statement about what is and isn't "Korean" that caused such laughter to arise in the screening I caught at piff. The actual phrase is yelled at hyun-jae who thinks he's doing the right thing by accompanying her to see her off at the airport. It was translated as roughly 'it's so korean dropping off at the airport! I need time alone to reflect!' This dialogue is an example of much of the dialogue in Before the summer Passes Away, you are ambivalent with it like you are the characters. First there's the emotion behind.
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So-yeon behaves differently when with Min-hwan and when with hyun-jae. She is malleable in Min-hwan's hands and does the folding and molding of someone's hyun-jae. But it's not as if she is 'two different people'. Both these ways of being are a part of her. She is vulnerable to being manipulated and being the manipulator. Lover Min-hwan is as diplomatic in his romantic relations as he is in his job. Yes, he's an ass, but he's not out of control.
He's in control, presenting an understanding about how 'comforting' a wrong partner such as he might. To me he's paternalistic, but just like some guys like jae-moon in my friend his Wife want to be mothered, the fatherly instructions passed on by min-hwan can be desirable by some. And as much as I hate his paternalism, his advice to so-yeon as she leaves for Paris is, well, good advice, which is what's so frustrating about this particular type of bad guy. The 'nice guy' hyun-jae does all the. These behaviors, and his beauty, impress so-yeon's friend who mentions again and again how she has such an 'eye for men'. At least this is what she says in between her bickering with her husband.
Yet despite all its strengths, the film began to lose me as it moved towards its conclusion. As it progresses, The Old Garden becomes steadily more self-conscious and obvious about its own creativity. It's as if at times it steps back to admire itself. From a logical or analytical standpoint, this admittedly makes for a more complex and interesting work. Its refusal to provide cathartic release is also admirable, given that the film bills itself as a melodrama.
But there is a magic in the first half - a sense of everything clicking together in harmony - that evaporates in the latter reels, and I don't think this was the filmmaker's intention. I still like the film, and consider it a valuable addition to korean film culture, but thinking back on it produces in me a twang of regret. ( Darcy paquet ) Before the summer Passes Away perhaps it's because so-yeon took the same trip I did to attend the 11th edition of piff, from seoul to busan via the bullet train, and even stopped in at the same perfume/cologne store i did. Or perhaps it's because i've had recent conversations with friends about desiring that person who, in all intense intents and purposes, is wrong for you. Because sung's debut explores that very conundrum with a refusal to victimize or punish the woman who, for a summer while, chooses the bad man. So-yeon (Kim bo-kyung) is taking a break from studying in France and juggling two men at home in the interim. Min-hwan (lee hyun-woo) is the man for whom she'll reschedule at the last moment, the man for whom she'll lie to rearrange those plans and to keep their affair from negatively impacting his position as a diplomat. Hyun-jae (Kwon Min) is the 'nice guy' who waits for her, opening up his days for whenever she can slip in time for him. Without demanding caricatures of her characters, sung (who also wrote the screenplay) has created complex emotions within each one.
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The film essay as a whole has been warmly received by local critics, but it has generated some negative reviews abroad, and its festival career has not matched that of its predecessor The President's Last Bang. Im admits to embracing a more mainstream archetype in this film, which may partly account for its mis-matched reception, but there are other issues here as well. Director Im's rebel streak - which has given us bold sexual talk in Girls Night Out, teenage delinquency in tears, family scandal in a good Lawyer's Wife and political intrigue in The President's Last Bang - manifests itself here in quieter ways: in the cat-who's-eaten-the-goldfish. True to form, the narrative is also spiced with sudden eruptions of violence that you really feel in the pit of your stomach. There's one sickly disturbing and heartbreaking scene in particular that viewers won't be able to shake from their memory, even if they try. It may be presumptuous of me to say this, with my imperfect knowledge of Korean, but there's a real elegance to the dialogue in The Old pays Garden that one may not feel when watching the film in translation. Every character in the film speaks with his or her own, absolutely unique rhythms and inflections, and so there's a pleasure in hearing characters interact that goes beyond the words themselves. In terms of the narrative, im is also quite graceful in the way he leaps forward and backward in time, only touching down on what is essential to the characters' memories.
Seoul population:.42 million Nationwide population:.1 million Market share: Korean.8, Imports.2 (nationwide) Films released: Korean 112, Imported 280 Total admissions: 158.8 million Number of screens: 2,058 (end of 2007) Exchange rate (2007 935 won/US dollar average ticket price: 6247won Exports. Showing themselves in seoul would surely result in their capture and arbitrary prosecution on some trumped-up charge, so they split up and go into hiding, with hyun-woo being put up in a remote cabin by a woman named yoon-hee. Yoon-hee is more than hospitable, and very soon the two are sharing a bed and falling in love. But in this dark era in Korea's history, industrial politics and the state not only limit their freedoms, but ultimately push into their private lives as well. An unusual mix of politics and melodrama that ranges from 1980 up until the present day, the Old Garden represents a collaboration between two generations of anti-authoritarian artists: young director Im Sang-soo, known for his filmmaking talent and taste for controversy; and novelist Hwang seok-young. Im's adaptation of Hwang's novel of the same name boasts some very strong casting, with ji jin-hee maintaining a nice air of unpredictability around the character of hyun-woo, and yeom Jung-ah being given the best opportunity to showcase her acting abilities since a tale. The depth of talent in the large cast of supporting characters, many of whom are Im regulars, is also impressive.
if it had been better directed. Seven days emerged as a true word of mouth hit, boosted by the fast tempo of its story and an electric performance from Kim Yun-jin. Independently-produced films also injected a bit of energy into the autumn and winter, although perhaps not to the same degree as in 2006. Milky way liberation Front, in particular, seemed to win over a large number of critics with its quirky charms. Nonetheless, year-end statistics showed that Korean films only accounted for a little over half of ticket sales in 2007 - its lowest level since 2002. Clearly, the korean film industry was in need of a boost in 2008. Reviewed below: The Old Garden (Jan 4), before the summer Passes Away (Jan 18), pruning the Grapevine (Feb 22), beautiful Sunday (Mar 29), the Show Must go on (Apr 5), paradise murdered (Apr 12), driving With my wife's lover (Apr 26), bunt (Apr 26), secret. The best Selling Films of 2007 Korean Films Nationwide seoul Release weeks 1 d-war 8,426,973 2,098,438 Aug 1 8 2 may 18 7,307,993 2,009,666 Jul 25 8 3 voice of a murderer 3,143,247 826,287 Feb 1 4 4 le grand Chef 3,037,690 913,989 nov. Source: Korean Film council.
Two blockbusters punctuated the middle part of the year. May 18, based on the infamous Gwangju Uprising of 1980, working took the same sort of blockbuster approach to history ushered. Tae guk gi and, silmido in 2004. The film ended up with a massive.3 million tickets sold. Even bigger was Shim hyung-rae's English-language monster movie. D-war, shot in Los Angeles with American actors and a mostly American crew. Although to international viewers it may look like any other really bad Hollywood B-movie, for many korean viewers it became a source of national pride, since former comedian Shim hyung-rae was the writer/director, the digital effects were all done in Korea, and the song "Arirang". Critics who trashed the film in the korean press for its obvious faults (myself included!) were subjected to the online wrath of a small group of passionate fans. Later, the film flopped in its us theatrical release, though by some accounts it is doing better on dvd.
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Bookmark this page to keep on top of the very latest prize draws, including opportunities to win holidays to far-flung destinations, tickets to the world's biggest sporting events and more. 2007 "seven days "Secret Sunshine "The Show Must go on "d-war". A sense of gloom covered Korean cinema in the year 2007, with fewer strong films than in previous years, local audiences beginning to cool on Korean film, exports showing a continued decline, and the film industry suffering through a recession of sorts. The first half of the year was particularly tough, with hardly any korean films stirring essays up any excitement among viewers. The one bright point was lee chang-dong's fourth feature. Secret Sunshine, which earned a best Actress award at the cannes Film Festival for the fearless performance of its lead jeon do-yeon. Although long considered one of Korea's top actors by the local press, this was the first opportunity for jeon to really shine in an international spotlight. The film itself too was widely praised, and for most Korean critics it represents sort of an obvious choice for the year's best feature.