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the director -- named Jang Hyun-seong(3)

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

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Git was originally commissioned as a 30-minute segment of the digital omnibus film 1.3.6. Comprising works by Jang Jin (Someone Special), Lee Young-jae (Harmonium in My Memory) and Song, 1.3.6 was intended to explore environmental themes and was slotted to open the first Green Film Festival in Seoul in late October. Alas, the festival's expectations were confounded, first in that only Lee Young-jae's work really engaged environmental issues in a direct way (the other two were merely set in rural areas), and second by the fact that Song went out and shot a 70-minute film. As an omnibus work, 1.3.6 has to be considered a failure, especially as the three films (Jang's amusing Sonagi Epilogue, Lee's poorly-received Mobius Strip, and Song's poetic Git) don't match, not just in length but in form, content, mood, style, and quality.

Git

But if Song betrayed the spirit of the omnibus project, he remained true to the needs of his film. Git centers around a film director who, in the middle of starting his next screenplay, remembers a promise he'd made ten years earlier. While staying on a remote southern island off Jeju-do, he and his girlfriend of the time agreed to come back and meet at the same motel exactly ten years in the future. Now, years after breaking up, he returns to the small island named Biyang-do, wondering if his ex-girlfriend will remember their appointment. (It seems appropriate that Git's basic setup recalls Richard Linklater's Before Sunset, another film that stands out for the beauty and simplicity of its construction)

On Biyang-do, the director -- named Jang Hyun-seong, the same as the actor who portrays him -- is overpowered with both memories of the past and the beauty of the island. As he waits, the pressures of his work life start to recede, and he becomes acquainted with the young woman who runs the motel. Named Lee So-yeon (played by -- sure enough -- actress Lee So-yeon of Untold Scandal), the woman is twelve years his junior, and possesses an unusual energy and enthusiasm.

Although the general path followed by the plot is pretty straightforward, Song leads us down many odd and fascinating detours. There is So-yeon's uncle, a middle-aged man with bleached blonde hair who hasn't spoken since his wife abandoned him. A peacock appears on the island, with no clear explanation or motivation. And the tango, a very un-Korean pasttime, makes a striking appearance in the film. In Song's other works, such elements sometimes feel forced or self-consciously arty, but here they blend with the otherworldly presence of the island and add a sense of mystery.

Git (which means either a triangular flag or "feather" in Korean) is surprising in several respects. One is that such a low-budget film looks so good visually. In Flower Island, Song showed an unusual talent for the aesthetics of digital cinema, but here he takes it one step further. To capture a natural setting so well on a medium that often feels cold and sterile is an unusual accomplishment.

The relaxed, convincing performances of the actors also deserve notice. Lee So-yeon makes her slightly thin character memorable through considerable screen presence, while Jang Hyun-seong of independent films Nabi and Rewind gives the performance of his career. Whatever we feel about the character he portrays, Jang's performance is so real and natural that we can't help but be drawn to him.

In a year that has been lacking in unexpected discoveries, Git is an exciting find. At its rousing premiere at the Green Film Festival in Seoul, a prominent Korean film critic told me it may be the best romance Korea has ever produced. One hopes that it will be liberated from the other two segments of 1.3.6. and distributed on its own. At 70 minutes, it is a perfectly respectable length for a stand-alone feature film, and this is a movie that deserves to travel.      (Darcy Paquet)


    Marathon

There was a lot going on in the world of Korean film at the beginning of 2005. The controversy of The President's Last Bang was being played out in the courtrooms and in the entertainment news. The collapse of the PiFan Film Festival was a hot topic and the hype surrounding the impending release of Another Public Enemy was overwhelming. Almost missed among all that was a quiet film directed by a virtual unknown but starring the talented Jo Seung-woo. The media found it interesting as 'a story of human triumph' but most people seemed certain that Kang Woo-suk's feature would dominate the box office. That all changed however, after Marathon had its press screening.

Marathon

It was reported immediately after in numerous newspapers that the journalists in attendance applauded long and hard following the press screening and that most of them were in tears. The question and answer session with the director and lead actors that was held after the showing went on for much longer than anyone was accustomed to. Most questions had to do with how Jo Seung-woo was able to convincingly take on the role of an autistic young man.

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