Showing posts with label independent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label independent. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: Unsettling I AM TRASH Revels in Depravity and Dysfunction

By David Bell

Following earlier instalments of Mother is a Whore (2010) and Father is a Dog (2012), Lee Sang-woo completes his thematic trilogy of family dysfunction with I Am Trash (2014), an unflinching depiction of a Seoul street sweeper’s plight to liberate his brothers from sexual deviance after their convicted-paedophile father returns home from prison.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

PiFan 2012: The Crucible (시련, Silyeon) 2012

Part of MKC's coverage of the 16th Puchon International Film Festival.

Among the Korean independent fare at this year’s PiFan there were some wonderful works that will likely enjoy healthy festival runs and should find wider audiences but along with the good there is inevitably going to be some bad. One film that will quickly be forgotten is a low-budget take on Arthur Miller’s famed play ‘The Crucible’. However, please don’t confuse this film with last year’s much-ballyhooed and far more worthwhile Silenced, which was originally known as The Crucible In English.

Though not particularly familiar with Miller’s play, it’s easy to see that the filmmakers behind this work got themselves a little too caught up in the mechanics of putting on a theater piece as well as their attempt at forging a meta-narrative around the staging of a play which begins to take on the story and themes of the work in question. The story is as follows: a student theater troupe preparing to perform their rendition of Miller’s play following the mysterious death of one of their cast members. One night during rehearsals things take a turn for the worse and the events that begin to unfold mirror those of the play.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PiFan 2012: Super Virgin (숫호구, Suthogoo) 2012

Part of MKC's coverage of the 16th Puchon International Film Festival.

What is it that draws us time and again to narratives following socially-awkward men who are trying to lose their virginity? My first thought was that these provide a vicarious thrill for male cinema-goers but actually, these films tend to draw crowds across the gender divide. Judd Apatow recognized this and harnessed the phenomenon into global hits with The 40 Year-Old Virgin (surely one of the most self-explanatory film titles of all time) and Superbad, which were equally successful with men and women when they were released.

Super Virgin, which had it’s world premiere at this year’s PiFan, is a Korean ultra low-budget film about the 30-year-old Won Jun, who is idling away his life in Incheon with his equally directionless friends.  He’s portly, awkward and sports some unbecoming spectacles, in short he’s a virgin and there doesn’t seem to be much hope for him. A cute girl moves to town and he falls for her but what can he do? By chance, he is abducted by a scientist who wants him to test ride his new invention. This scientist has created a sex avatar that he claims has been tweaked to instantly attract every woman who will cross his path. Following a long night of drinking and a bout of despondency, Won Jun agrees to the experiment and it works like a charm. But when he uses his new avatar to woo the girl he likes things become complicated, as ironically he can no longer be a match for himself.