VOD Choice in December

2019-12-01 ~ 2019-12-31
VOD Choice in December
Let’s see three recommended films with full genre colors, including Melodrama, Noir and Horror movie this month.
 

Films
  • 01. A Bonanza ( Nodaji ) Chung Chang-wha, 1961
    The godfather of action film in Korea, director Jung Chang-hwa's BONANZA is a well-made genre film that combines gangster/noir genres with family melodramatic elements. The main character Woon-chil, played by Kim Seung-ho is portrayed as a greedy man who abandoned his family to mine the gold. It seems to be a little bit strange casting because Kim Seung-ho used to play a friendly father's role in a family melodrama since the late 1950s. However, although this character may have been blinded by greed at one time in the past, this film also has a lesson that is peculiar to family melodrama. Although Woon-chil returns to his hometown with the gold he mined and enjoys rich life, he realized the importance of his family through the death of his co-worker, who worked with him on the mine. His epic in search of his daughter Yeong-ok and her colleague's son Dong-il is just like family melodrama at that time. Above all, the highlight of this film is Noir Mise-en-Scène of the scene in which members of thug drag along Dong-il who wanted to end his life as a gangster. The camera walk, which captures a bleak building with strong contrast lighting and members of the gangsters in it, overwhelms the audience’s eye. (Lee Ji-Youn, Programmer for Cinematheque KOFA)
  • 02. A horrible double-faced man(Gongpo-ui ijung-ingan) Lee Yong-min, 1974
    If there were huge diamonds hidden in Mt. Odae, how would you find the treasure? I guess that you've divided up the zones and searched the mountain step by step. If you have bad luck, it will take a long time, but if you're lucky, you can find it right away. Here is a scientist who tries to occur a miracle that raise a person from the dead in order to find hidden diamonds in Mt. Odae. He is Dr. Chung of A HORRIBLE DOUBLE-FACED MAN. He studied medical science in the United States, Britain and Germany, and is currently operating Cheongpyeong Mental Hospital. He is carrying out the project to save the dead people with two assistants for 30 years. The doctor describes it as a ‘great dream’ which is about finding the huge amount of diamonds hidden in Mt. Odae by a dead Japanese soldier, Major Ono. I think that it would have been easier and more convenient to search the mountain rather than asking the location of the diamond by saving the dead, but such a question can cause your death. (Please see the film!) Finally, they successfully transmit the spirit of a murderer (male) who killed three people to a nurse named Park (female). She (or he) has a dual personality, separated from the body (female) and the soul (male). She (or he) came to the hospital to kill Dr. Chung who made her (or him), but she acts as if she has forgotten her purpose. Revived Major Ono shouts out his first cry “Y.o.u  w.a.n.n.a b.r.e.a.k m.y n.e.c.k?” to Dr. Chung, who holds his neck tightly. As someone tells "who's going to come here at this time?," and then you’ll see someone knocking on the door just at that moment. This film is full of a little fun things like these, but is not a comedy. Lee Yong-min, a former the director of cinematography, is good at making gruesome scenes and using expressionism techniques. In addition, this is the actor Lee Duk-hwa’s debut film and also starred with her father Lee Ye-chun. (Park Se-ho, Education Programmer of Korean Film Museum, Korean Film Archive)
  • 03. Winter Wanderer (Gyeo-ul nageune) Kwak Ji-kyoon, 1986
    The film is based on a novel written by Choi In-ho, which was director Kwak Ji-kyoon’s first film. Just as many popular movies are based on webtoons these days, Korean films in the 1980s had a trend to film contemporary novels that were recognized for their literary value and popularity. Choi In-ho’s a lot of novels were produced into dramas and movies, but WINTER WANDERER is made into a musical as well as a film, TV drama. It means that it was a novel having an attractive story and sensibility that the public could empathize with at the time. This excellent original work, combined with the sensibility of the new director Kwak Ji-kyoon, was praised for its meticulous and sensuous expression of the youth's love, wandering, conflict, and the background of those days, and also was considered leading film to a new era of Korean melodrama. The film depicts love and breakup between four men and women: Min-wu (Kang Suk-woo), Da-hye (Lee Mi-sook), Hyun-tae (Ahn Sung-ki), and Eun-young (Lee Hye-young). The actor Kang Suk-woo, playing Min-wu  brilliantly portrayed the beautiful, innocent and shy young man who is character took the motif from “Le fifre”(by Edouard Manet) through a facial expression that seemed to burst into tears at any moment. The heroine of this film, Lee Mi-sook who plays Da-hye was cementing her image as an erotic actor after being starred in 1985's MULBERRY (directed by Lee Doo-yong), but in this film she showed another aspect through her graceful and innocent character. Lee Hye-young in a supporting role won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 25th Daejong Awards for her realistic portrayal of women deeply in love with Min-wu in military camp town. This film has a sensuous and luxurious mood along with outstanding actors, director's excellent sensibility and classical music from Vivaldi and Schubert that flows throughout the film. Not only did it succeed in the box office by drawing tears from audiences, but it also highly acclaimed for its cinematic quality. The director Kwak Ji-kyoon won the Best New Director Award at Daejong Awards and the Korean Film Critics' Association for this film. In the opening the film's unique noise on screen (perhaps it is because of worn out film) reminds us of our old days as if we were listening to old music’s records. Especially, Hyun-tae (Ahn Sung-ki)’s monologue looking back on the past ("Where should I start talking?" Just looking back on those days when I can't go back, and those days past, makes my heart beat. When Min-wu and Da-hye first met, my age was 26, and Min-wo was the youth of the 22") gets audiences to fall into it and is moving moment for everyone. (Son Kisoo, Sound Restoration Engineer of Korean Film Archive)

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