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the director -- named Jang Hyun-seong(24)

Time:2018-03-08 00:04Shoes websites Click:

Pusan film ind Korean Film SOUTH KOREA film festivals

This film constitutes another (sigh) case of a filmmaker saddled with a genre that he has either absolutely no understanding of or is totally indifferent to. To executive producers and big shots of the Korean film industry, I ask you: why do you assign horror film projects to these filmmakers? It is a bit like recruiting Tiger Woods for a baseball team: "C'mon baby, golf ball or baseball, they are all balls!" I do understand that horror films are easy money in the global market, but Christ... give the project to someone who cares. Someone who is willing to take the much-despised formulae and conventions of the horror genre and shape them into truly creative, audacious, challenging, slap-in-the-face artistic achievements, as Carl Dreyer, Oshima Nagisa, Mario Bava and David Cronenberg, among others, have done over the years. I refuse to succumb to the (seemingly obvious) conclusion that there are no such talents among first-time Korean directors.      ()


    April Snow

According to interviews he did prior to the release of his third feature, Hur Jin-ho doesn't want us to talk about his "previous works" when addressing April Snow. But when he repeats so many of his previous themes, the development of an ambivalent relationship, a male character who works in another sensory-dependent profession (photographer, sound man, and now lighting director), a male character who is again mother-less (but this time he's mother-in-law-less), and a title that invokes seasonal irony, how can we not compare it to the ones that came before?

In-su (Bae Yong-joon - Untold Scandal and the internationally popular TV drama Winter Sonata) and Seo-young (Son Ye-jin - The Classic, A Moment To Remember) meet when their respective partners are in a car crash that leaves them in mutual comas. The remnants of this car crash - condoms, text messages on cellphones, camera video of them in bed together - confirm their suspicions that their partners were having an affair with each other. Having rented rooms in the same hotel to remain near the hospital, In-su and Seo-young decide to begin an affair themselves, which results in the Hur trope of a hesitant relationship emerging between these two halves of broken wholes. The sex scenes in particular demonstrate quite well the trademark Hur uncertainty between his characters. Although this film has been getting poor reviews, I personally don't think it's that bad, although it is nowhere near the quality of his first two explorations of the ebb and flow of relationships.

April Snow

Early on, when Seo-young demurely tells In-su that she does housework and chores for a living, she feels a need to add that she guesses career women are more attractive. In-su answers with a definitive, "Actually, no." It is this interchange that is the intersection of all that makes April Snow a commercially successful film and a troubling one.

There is the obligatory note that must be made when speaking about this film, and that's about Yonsama. As you should know by now, Bae is HUGELY popular in Japan and his films will, until that popularity wanes, be positioned with the Japanese market in mind. In this way, the film did not need to be successful in South Korea (and it wasn't), because it was bound to rebound in Japan, (which it did, ending up setting the box office record for a South Korean film in Japan). Several reporters on the Asian film industry have noted how this represents further maturation of the South Korean film industry in that it represents a broadening of its market beyond its own borders. That specific line about housework and chores can be seen as an awareness of the particulars of Yonsama's Japanese market since it is middle-aged Japanese women, many of them housewives, who are so fond of him. By stating his preference for housewives, Bae, through his character of In-su, further solidifies his connection with this demographic. That said, I also feel a need to state that I think Bae is a decent actor and I can see why the ladies think he's a hottie. I also don't want to slam the middle-aged Japanese women who are so fond of him, for such desire for their idol is not necessarily a gender and age variation on Otaku-ness, but perhaps a medium for something more progressive about the wants, needs and demands of these women.

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