Emerging Lights of Korean Cinema: Independent visions of the short film

Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 6:30 PM

Korean Cultural Service NY

Sara Jeanne 

Director Kim Seong-sook
Sara Jeanne is about the last day in the life of an aging prostitute who resides in a military camptown. Every day, Sara Jeanne hides her wrinkles under heavy makeup, puts on worn, faded clothing, and earns her living by selling her body to drunk American soldiers. But, as a prostitute, she no longer has anything to stand on and becomes increasingly more vulnerable to the danger of violence. She decides to leave the military camptown. And in fact, she desperately needs to leave. 

Man Talk
Director Hong Deok-pyo
A 28 year-old man, who feels insecure about his masculinity, harasses an old woman mercilessly. Then one day, he finds a hidden truth with a 5-year old boy. In the director's notes, Hong comments on the insecurities men have if they aren't perceived as macho or conforming to society. Moreover, young men are losing powerful role models which may contribute to violent or criminal behavior. This is a man's story. 

Don't Even Think You Know
Director Song He-jin
Jang-chul comes up from Andong to the big city during the Ch'usok holiday. The visit is to be tutored by his cousin Jang-ju in mathematics in preparation for the college entrance exams. Jang-ju, however, finds Jang-chul to be stubborn and conservative and wants to influence him in other ways he hasn't considered. 

Feel Good Story
Director Lee Kyoung-mi
Two women who have intense hatred for each other have to work side by side at one desk every night. But hatred fuels powerful energy and can cause people to live and work even harder. 

How to Operate a Polaroid Camera
Director Kim Jong-kwan
Like someone. Flushed face. Can't hear anything. Helpless. Sad. Learned how to operate a Polaroid camera. These enigmatic phrases complement the director's notes: A Polaroid camera is cheap, durable, and scarce, but the film is quite expensive. That's why we tend to take pictures very carefully and precisely with it. It produces a realistic fascination with its limited focus as well as gives us the joy of instant development. 

Ten Oxherding Pictures # 2 – Seeing the Footprints
Director Lee Ji-sang
After making movies for ten years, director Lee Ji-sang suddenly returned to the country to farm in 2003. There, he began a ten-part series, Ten Oxherding Pictures (based on Buddhist temple fable paintings), and released the first one, Simwo-Looking for a Cow to the public. The second film of the series, Seeing the Footprints, is a personal diary. Ji-Sang lives at the foot of a mountain and waits for “him” who had sent a moving letter. We see parts of his figure in each frame performing farm work like harvesting rice or picking persimmons and jujubes. He also prays on his knees in front of a small temple and confesses that his heart is broken. The monk at the temple is silent. Ji-sang concludes that “he” isn't coming, but believes that the letter expressed the simple heart of human beings.

A Beautiful Wife
Director Lee You-rim
A man sneaks out of his house at dawn, without his wife's knowledge, to meet a labor union branch chairman. Unknown at the time, however, is that the chairman had committed suicide while on strike. And then, the husband himself is found dead on No. 4 crane dock. The husband's co-workers tell his wife that he killed himself because he was devastated by the death of the union branch chairman. The wife responds to this angrily, insisting that her husband's death was an accident. Still, the company and the labor union make their respective reports to their own advantage, offering them at the funeral. The day after her husband's death, the wife holds the two agreements in her hands, but will never believe that her husband would choose death over life with her.


Korean Cultural Service NY

Miro Yoon