Letters From BIFF Programmers
Noteworthy Debuts in Korean Cinema Here Today
- I am introducing Korean feature debut films in the Korean Cinema Today-Vision and New Currents sections. I have, however, written their detailed descriptions in the Program Notes, and today I would like to briefly list what I liked about each film. I hope this will lead to your greater enjoyment of the films.
Our Midnight Dir. Lim Jung-eun
- I liked the streets on which the protagonist couple took their midnight strolls in Lim Jung-eun’s Our Midnight. Some of those streets I know well. I am personally familiar with how it feels to walk those streets in those nights. This film captures the feelings of frustration, comfort, and consolation with footsteps along with light and shadow in the darkness.
AND THERE WAS LIGHT Dir. Kim Ji-seok
- Kim Ji-seok’s AND THERE WAS LIGHT is a nonsensical tale. There is probably no such couple in the world; however, amazingly enough, this seemingly fictional and crafty tale looks at the world with a keen and analytical lens.
Short Vacation Dir. Kwon Min-pyo and Seo Hansol
- Short Vacation by directors Kwon Min-pyo and Seo Hansol is extraordinarily detailed to the point of being stubborn. If someone by any chance claims the film to be a mere depiction of child’s play, they have already forgotten countless experiences and the thrill of the unknown.
Good Person Dir. Jung Wook
- Jung Wook’s Good Person is a film akin to Akira Kurosawa’s Rashômon (1950). A shocking event unfolds: who is speaking the truth and how do we discern between a good person and a bad person? Good Person sinks the audience into a bottomless pit of a moral dilemma. Without a clear answer, we ask ourselves the same difficult question over and over again. That is the power of this film.
The Slug Dir. Choi Jin-young
- Choi Jin-young’s The Slug is an adorable film. The protagonist, who lost his parents to an accident early and has been living in a relative’s attic, is struck by lightning out of nowhere while walking the streets at night. His childhood starts to flash before his eyes, illusions appear, and the past and the future start to cross. The Slug, a mixture of fairy tale and comedy, spreads its message of positivity.
LIMECRIME Dir. Lee Seunghwan and Yoo Jaewook/p>
- LIMECRIME by Lee Seunghwan and Yoo Jaewook is based on the teenage years of the two directors. The film chronicles the story of young hip-hop duo LIMECRIME through exciting music and a thrilling plot.
A Leave Dir. Lee Ran-hee
- Lee Ran-hee’s A Leave is about a middle-aged worker who recently lost his job. The film starts loosely-knit, then quietly captivates the audience, and finally delivers a final earthquake of emotion in the end. Anyone suddenly reminded of the nonchalant line in the first scene will become teary-eyed. A Leave provides a mature insight into its subject matter.
Snowball Dir. Lee Woo-jung
- Lee Woo-jung’s Snowball provides a detailed yet powerful view into the emotional sensitivity and intense turbulence of adolescence. The bond among three best friends will become something of the past. Snowball achieves a certain sentimental yet brutal poetic sensibility.
- As a programmer, I hope these films will be keenly appreciated by audiences.
By Korean Cinema Programmer