VOD Choice in June

2019-06-01 ~ 2019-06-30
VOD Choice in June
THE MODERN GRANDMA (Baek Ho-bin, 1964) and A BRIDE ON THE SECOND FLOOR (Lee Seong-gu, 1968) create comedy out of the conflict and harmony between the old and new generation in the changing times and generational changes of the 1960, while positively acknowledging the values of the new generation; YOU’VE MADE A MISTAKE (Lee Bong-rae, 1969) features three different women to challenge patriarchy that tries to subjugate the feminine sex. Here are three romantic comedy films that are newly service by KMDb VOD beginning in June. 

  • 01. The Modern Grandma ( Sinsik Halmeoni ) Baek Ho-bin, 1964
    The mother of Mr. Kim, a managing director at his company, is a “modern grandma” who reads the Times, discusses sex with her granddaughter-in-law, and voices opposition to gender discrimination. The grandma confidently goes out with an old man she came across, and emphasizes that her grandchildren should exercise free will in their dates and marriage. The company president and his wife, who want the eldest son of Mr. Kim as their son-in-law, force Mr. Kim to let his son marry their daughter in return for promotion to vice president. Han-guk, the son who has another woman that he loves, tells his grandma about this as he cannot talk to his parents about this matter. The grandma ends up leaving the house, blaming her actions for Mr. Kim and his wife for not recognizing the choices of their son.  

    ▶ This film, which provides a positive perspective about democratic and free values of the new generation in the conflict between the new and old generations, is in the same vein as family melodrama films of the early 1960s such as ROMANTIC PAPA (Shin Sang-ok, 1960) and UNDER THE SKY OF SEOUL (Lee Hyung-pyo, 1961) that positively depict the generational shift of the 1960s in all aspects of society and culture in Korea. Mr. Kim and his wife (Heo Jang-gang and Hwang Jeong-sun) and the company president and his wife (Ju Seon-tae and Yun In-ja), as well as the grandma's boyfriend (Kim Seung-ho) represent the older generation, and on their other side of spectrum is the grandma (Jo Mi-ryeong), who is a person in support of the new values. As the title suggests, the grandma is a positive icon representing modernity in opposition to antiquity. The word grandma, which symbolizes the older generation, meets the term “modern,” to create an irony which is also an important point of this film. 
  • 02. A Bride on the Second Floor ( I-Cheungjip Saedaek ) Lee Seong-gu, 1968
    Jo-han, the groom, looks tense at his wedding ceremony, but Mi-jin, the bride, begins to walk down confidently in a white mini skirt in place of a proper wedding dress. Mi-jin settles into her new home on the second floor of the house occupied by her husband’s parents, and begins her married life. Mi-jin tries to change the antiquated culture of her in-law’s family, but the mother-in-law is unhappy with this freewheeling new wife. The mother-in-law’s husband and son, as well as the maid, are always siding with Mi-jin to her detriment, and she finds out that while she was on vacation at a hot spring resort, the daughter-in-law redid the bathroom and kitchen in a modern style, which deepens the conflict between the young woman and the old woman. 

    ▶ The original film for this work had been lost, but in 2012 a 16mm print was collected from TVB, a TV station in Hong Kong. The film comically depicts the conflict between a modern daughter-in-law, who criticizes old customs requiring newlywed brides to wear traditional clothing and women to do all the housework and make every meal for all family members, and an old mother-in-law who wishes to maintain the old way of doing things. 
  • 03. You've Made a Mistake ( Jalmot Bosyeot-dagu ) Lee Bong-rae, 1969
    Na-pal is leading a freewheeling life after failing in two marriages; Cha-bun does not like her husband who is not very dedicated to his family because of his business trips abroad; Wol-su is a concubine of the old and rich Mr. Kim, but is dating Gang-cheol, another man. These three women are tired of men who are preying on them. Gap-dol, a business owner who frequently hits on Na-pal, suggests that she take on a job as a manager of a salon, while a young male artist she comes across tries to take advantage of her by asking her to model for his painting. Wol-su wants to leave Mr. Kim for Gang-cheol, and cunningly calls Mr. Kim’s wife to her house. However, the old wife who is sick of her husband tells Wol-su to “take care of Mr. Kim” and leaves the place. Cha-bun, leading a boring life because her husband is always away on foreign business trips, begins to work at the salon with Na-pal. However, Ppa-dda, a Korean-Japanese man who frequents the salon, continues to hit on Cha-bun. 

    ▶ This film is an adaptation of the original novel by Yu Ho, which was gained popularity while it was being serially published in the weekly paper Sunday Seoul. It is by director Lee Bong-rae, who directed family melodramas such as A PETTY MIDDLE MANAGER (1961) and A SALARYMAN (1962). Unlike other family melodramas he directed, however, this work is closer to a sex comedy. The film depicts sex lives of the three women Na-pa, Cha-bun, and Wol-su, while directly revealing its sexual codes. It is refreshing to see the three women trick and prank men who always hit on them, and the film challenges the conventional customs that attempts to subjugate the female sex to the patriarchy. This film has two scenes in which women play the role of Peeping Tom. Considering that the voyeuristic perspectives of men are more prevalent in the cinematic world, such scenes are unique and extraordinary. However, the overturning characteristics of this film does not last, as in the case of many other commercial films: Perhaps due to the restrictions of the old 1960s and the viewpoints of a male director, the female characters end up settling into the mold of the patriarchy in the end. 

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