Showing posts with label lee duck-hee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lee duck-hee. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2012

BIFF 2012: Tumbleweed (창수, Chang-su) 2012

Part of MKC's coverage of the 17th Busan International Film Festival.

The gangster film, a genre that has found its way into just about every national film industry on the planet, is no stranger to Korean cinema. While the country has produced its fair share of compelling gangland sagas, stretching from the 1997 trio of Beat, No . 3, and Green Fish to more glossy and baroque undertakings such as A Dirty Carnival (2006) and this year’s Nameless Gangster, some of the most memorable films have been those that have been filtered through the prism of Korea’s filmmaking mainstay, the melodrama. Romance and gangsters have been combined to great effect in films such as Kim Jee-woon’s A Bittersweet Life (2005) but some of the most surprising examples have featured criminals at the bottom end of the pecking order.

Song Sae-heun’s Failan (2001) featured Choi Min-sik as a hapless thug who develops feelings for his shame immigrant wife (Cecilia Chung) following her death. The film did away with the gloss and style we often associate with gangster films and instead focused on a bizarre relationship which in many ways acted as a path of redemption for Choi’s character. Similarly, Yang Ik-june’s Breathless (2009) followed a gruff and violent money collector in a rundown neighborhood who develops an odd friendship with a high school girl (played by Kim Kkottbi) that could become his salvation.