Starring: Kim Sang-Kyung, Uhm Ji-Won, Lee Gi-Wu
Director: Hong Sang-Su
Studio: Big Blue Film
About This DVD
Filmmaker Hong Sang-su's latest film "Tale of Cinema (Kukchangjon)" received a surprise invitation to the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival just about a week before the festival opens. The invitation marks Hong's fourth advance to the Cannes festival. The other three include "The Power of Kangwon Province" and "Virgin Stripped by Her Bachelors," invited for the "Un Certain Regard" category. "Woman is the Future of Man" advanced to the last year's feature competition section.
People are usually surprised when they find themselves unconsciously behaving or speaking like their close friends. In his fourth film "On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate," director Hong Sang-su subtly depicted how people imitate each other in their daily lives. But the movie was not popular at home because it was not easy for viewers to notice the moments of imitation in the main characters' seemingly unmotivated actions.
Hong is more focused on the same subject matter in his sixth and latest work "Tale of Cinema," which uses close-ups to clearly show the emotions and actions of its characters. His elliptical reflection on imitation in the latest movie involves the relationship between film and reality. As the title suggests, "Tale of Cinema" is a movie about the fact that films often depict experiences from real life. People who see such films sometimes unconsciously act like the protagonist.
Dong-su (Kim Sang-kyung) is an aspiring movie director who has been out of work for about 10 years. He goes to see a film directed by his school buddy suffering from lung cancer and meets up with the movie's beautiful lead actress on his way home. Her name is Yong-sil (Uhm Ji-won), just like the main female character in the movie.
Recognizing that the story is based on his own life, Dong-su tries to get closer to the actress, convincing himself that their encounter is the result of destiny. It is uncertain whether the movie depicts Dong-su's experience or Tong-su acts under the influence of the movie.
From this point, Hong uses repetition to apparently blur the border between the movie and reality. The film is divided into two movies that are closely related. Interestingly, the audience sees the first movie at the same pace as Dong-su sees it at the theater. Some background scenery, habits of characters, and even the name of female lead of the first film is repeated in the second.
This narrative generates lots of laughs because of the behaviors of the lead characters, which are not common in South Korean society. The scene in which Dong-su tries to keep Yong-sil from leaving the motel room where they have sex, while covering his body up to his chest with sheets, is comical because seemingly a woman, not a man, would cover herself in such a way.
In South Korea, it is unusual for a woman to declare her desire to have sex and for a man to ask for the telephone number of a woman that he has just met and to confess his love to her. But these characters awaken us to assumptions that exist but that we hardly recognize in our daily lives. Thanks to Hong's insightful humor, the movie can be considered a good comedy for those who are not accustomed to his style of moviemaking.
|Audio Format:||DD 5.1 Surround, DD 2.0 Stereo|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)|
|Availability:||Usually ships in 5-10 days|