Indepenedent Film Series: Members Of The Funeral
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7 PM
(54 Varick Street, NYC)
BAEK Seung-Bin, Drama, Grade 12, 2008, 99 minutes
Considered one of the most intellectually ambitious of Korea’s current crop of indie features, this film’s lush visuals and caustic performances hide the fact that it was shot for pennies. Member kicks off with a family of three going at each other during a funeral for a teenaged boy. Flashbacks show the wounded innocents who grew up to become these monsters and as they flay the skin from their faces with their barbed words, the movie gradually darkens and deepens into something much more profound than a simple family snit fit.
Seventeen-year-old Hee-joon is dead and a group of people are gathered at the funeral. By the way they refer to one another they are members of a family composed of father, mother, and daughter. They are also the leading characters in the novel that Hee-joon wrote before he died, and they have no idea what relationship one another had with the boy. Jun-gi, a middle aged trainer for a college basketball team, carries a dark secret and has queer relationships with his students. Jung-hee, a bizarre high school literature teacher who assigns her students to write their own will, dreams of becoming a mystery novelist like Agatha Christie. Ami, a high school student and an undertaker of five years, becomes Hee-joon’s friend after she sees the razor blade scars on his wrist. As Hee-joon spends time with each of the three family members, he completes his novel “Members of the Funeral”, and gives it as a gift to each of them before he dies.
Tribeca Cinema (54 Varick Street New York, NY 10013, Tel: 212-941-2001)