VOD Choice in October

2019-10-01 ~ 2019-10-31
VOD Choice in October
In October, the Korean Film Archive staffs introduce three classic films about individual or family tragedies leading to historical tragedies.

Films
  • 01. The Palace of Ambition (Pung-un-ui gungjeon) Chung Chang-wha, 1957
    This film is historical action film about a power struggle in the royal court of the Mahan Age. If you have seen a lot of Korean classic films in addition to fact which the name "Chung Chang-wha" has been added to this action-packed historical drama, you may be able to speculate on the film easily. Especially, the action scenes in which the swords clash have a great sense of urgency that cannot be seen at the action film of that time, although it may seem a bit slow for today's audiences. But this is not all of good points about this film. The most interesting thing in this film is very good chemistry between Guseulagi that were kicked into the mountains by the traitor Hwa Pidal and PIG (Later it turns out that he is a 'Haemosu') that helped her. The PIG, who thinks Guseulagi is just a boy in a similar position to himself, acts casually in front of the Guseulagi. The subtle tension of this moment suggests that director Chung Chang-wha has talent not only for action film but also for romantic comedies. Also, if you are deeply involved in this delicate tension, you may find that the PIG (Hamosu) who is ashamed to know that Guseulagi is a woman after all the cases are resolved at the end, and you may feel strange affection for Guseulagi who calls him ‘bro’ as she used to. This is like a sad feeling of the viewers who supported the Najeong-Chilbong couple felt at the last of the drama in REPLY 1994, famous TV series.
    (Lee Soo-youn, Researcher for Korean Film History, Korean Film Archive) 
  • 02. The General's Mustache ( Janggun-ui Suyeom ) Lee Seong-gu, 1968
    This film starts with a scream by a witness who discovered the death of a photographer. In that scene, the camera slowly go over the books and imitations of Western paintings from romanticism to surrealism that filled his room. There are Théodore Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa, Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory and the window of artificial background likely to come from Renee Magritt's paintings. Just at first blush, we can see his scribble like his scream there. They suggest that he was very tender and pure person, was tired of the cruel world, and struggled to get his salvation in the Western art, which responded with its own view to the bloody modern and contemporary historical shock. I can't believe that it was a Korean film in the '60s.
    THE GENERAL’S MUSTACHE is regarded as a masterpiece of Korean modernism cinema in terms of both form and content. The film describes a man's agony and death, an episode-style plot of inquiring around him, and the cinematic thought about what we're seeing now is whether it's real or not. However this film could be completely different one depending on what the photographer's seemingly suicidal death originated from and what his unfinished novel The General's Beard intended.
    First of all, if the ostensible theme of the his novel The General's Beard, ‘The solitude in a standardized society’ drove him to his death, flashbacks related to the Korean War in the last part of the film will be abrupt and the flow after that become dreadfully clichéd. On the other hand, if the novel The General's Beard was one of a number of distorted defense mechanisms of a human being who failed to confront the trauma of the Korean War, then the misbehavior and awkwardness of the plots disappear at once, and the mysterious secret of Mise-en-Scène will be solved. In terms of latter, this film is a remarkable existentialism film about the Korean War describing drastically how Koreans after 15 years of war feel about the bitter memories of the Korean War. If so, what is the reason for causing the ambiguous confusion? Maybe it was motivated by the director’s desire to superimpose an intention to criticize the past in spite of the risk of misreading.
    (Kim Kiho, Leader of Film Restoration Team, Korean Film Archive)
  • 03. The Last Witness (Choehu-ui jeung-in) Lee Doo-yong, 1980
    I hate the long film, so when I realized that the running time of this film is 154 minutes, I gave a sigh. It was so long that I worried about how many times to share it, however I ended up sitting down and watching it all the way at once. I'd like to say that it's that much fun.
    The film is based on a novel of the same title, written by Kim Sung-jong, portraying the tragedy of the Korean War in a hard-boiled style. The main character is a detective, Mr.Oh (Hah Myung-joong) who always wears a bushy hair and a full coat. He is in charge of the murder of the owner of the brewery, of which complicated history was hidden behind the incident. At first, he thought that it was a simple incident but it was not true at all. While he tries to track down clues of the case, the film portrays the tragedy of the Korean War slowly, alternating between present and past. The plot is quite complicated, the characters are quite numerous, and the time range of the film is quite long. Despite these disadvantage, this film controls over all of them completely giving the audience constant curiosity about what will happen next. If you read the storyline of this film and you think you've seen it somewhere, it's probably THE LAST WITNESS(HEUKSUSEON)(2001) directed by Bae Chang-ho, the remake of this film.  If I choose between the two films, I will rather choose THE LAST WITNESS by Lee Doo-yong. Additionally, there's one interesting thing about this film. Hah Myung-joong who plays the main character is very handsome and smokes a lot in the decadent moods like a superstar of the Hollywood film noir. In contrast, Choi Bool-am, who plays Ba-wu, has not been any different from what he is now even though it was a film 40 years ago. 
    (Yu Seong-kwan, Leader of Policy and Planning Team, Korean Film Archive) 

초기화면 설정

초기화면 설정