Starring: Park Su-Bum, Park Sung-Yul
Director: Beck Yeon-Ah
Studio: Dae Gyung DVD (Korea)
Genre: Documentary / Traditional Korean Music
About This DVD
High shrills and bellowing lows of the human voice scurry across the bel canto range. Korean opera "pansori", with its violent vibrato and indecipherable lyrics inspired by classical poetry, is a highly acquired taste among modern Koreans who are more attuned to pop songs. In the 1990s, master filmmaker Im Kwon-taek helped rekindle public interest in it. Now a young director spotlights pansori anew through the voices of "soriggun" (pansori singer) children in the riveting documentary "Lineage Of The Voice". The two often considered " boring " genres, documentary and pansori, become at once engrossing and delightful through the vibrant energy of two boys struggling to understand the art of pansori and the secrets of life.
Featured in the 12th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival (PIFF), "Lineage" recently won the feature documentary award at the Syracuse International Film Festival in New York. Debutant director Yeon-ah Paik was an editor for Daniel Gordon's North Korea documentary "A State of Mind". In her own feature film, she demonstrates the ability to harness objective documentation to artistic ends, achieving a sense of creative control without slipping into the traps of sappy docudramas. More importantly, as much as the film flirts with reality, it leaves room for many questions.
The camera follows two child prodigies growing up in different backgrounds. In Haenam, South Jeolla Province, 12-year-old Su-beom has mastered the four-hour-long "Song of Shim Chung" and now travels hours on end to receive lessons from pansori maestro Cho Sang-hyun. He has the fervent support of his father, who is realizing his thwarted dreams of becoming a musician through his son
Meanwhile, in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, Seong-yeol, 10, learned to sing before he could speak. He is a little star that travels from one village to another with his soriggun father. But these aren't conventional concert tours -- the petite boy, dressed as a miniature aristocrat from the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), entertains elderly citizens and afterwards encourages them to buy over the counter drugs and such. It's what insiders call "dekkiya", a marketing tactic employed by many pharmaceutical companies, and even Samulnori founding father Kim Duk-soo was hired as a boy jester. Like Su-beom, Seong-yeol, too, must carry on his father's ambitions. The only difference is that Su-beom's father drives him around in a luxurious sedan. Once a promising pansori student in college, Seong-yeol's father now battles alcoholism and his sense of failure.
The director follows these boys for three years. Su-beom, who was always the best in his former pansori school, struggles to catch up with other students in his new class. He is also too young to fully comprehend that pansori must be delivered through the mouth and received through the heart. Unlike Su-beom, who is seen whining like a child, Seong-yeol is mature beyond his years, perhaps as a result of being part of a traveling circus. His problems are more immediate poverty and abuse.
|Audio Format:||DD 2.0 Stereo|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 1.85 (Anamorphic)|
- Making of
- Real Life
- Music Video
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