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"Host and Guest": Woody Allen-style humor and satire

2006/11/15 | 266 views |  | Permalink | Source

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Director Sin Dong-il, who recently made Host and Guest (LJ Films), was recently invited to the Forum Category of the Berlin International Film Festival, held on Nov. 2, where peers warmly nicknamed him "Korea's Woody Allen".

Just as Woody Allen, "forever New Yorker", delivers sharp satires and caricatures of himself, Shin also questions social issues such as political situations and discrimination against religious minorities with Ho-Joon (Kim Jae-rok), a man of the so-called "386 generation", who has become a snob, as his mediator.

With humor as its backdrop, the film accurately delivers its message in an easy-to-understand language, which is the best virtue of the Host & Guest.

Ho-Joon, a cynical intellectual who is discontent about everything, meets Kye-Sang (Kang Ji-hwan), a young and extremely moralistic missionary. The film portrays the process of communication between the two and how each becomes the leader of their own lives.

A divorcee and part-time lecturer, Ho-Joon sees that all his life's problems are caused by the world, which makes him decide to live a life of seclusion, separating himself in his small one-room apartment. One day, he happens to be locked inside his bathroom when the door lock is broken, and Kye-Sang, a young missionary from a Christian denomination whose beliefs are considered heresies , happens to visit Ho-Joon's house and helps him get out of the bathroom.

Although Ho-Joon is always aggressive to everyone and discontent about almost anything, he cannot face Kye-Sang like he used to. After all, Kye-Sang is his savior. So, Ho-Joon brings him to the places he usually hangs out?bars, theaters, karaoke rooms, and even in spots where Ho-Joon used to go alone. The two men, however, have nothing in common. Ho-Joon always gets involved in petty fights, and Kye-Sang always stops and calms him.

Host and Guest is a film about people who are pushed to the edge of the world. Ho-Joon closes his heart from the world after his divorce and after losing his job. Kye-Sang loses his job as a private teacher just because he has a different belief system.

While Ho-Joon and Kye-Sang live their own guest-like lives for different reasons, the encounter between the two offers them the opportunity to become the leader of their lives. While they may be seen as a "guest", they become the "host" of their own lives. Director Sin, with the transformation of the two characters, questions the true meaning of being a "host".

Considering that we cannot think of any other actors who can play the role of Ho-Joon and Kye-Sang, I applaud Kim Jae-rok and Kang Ji-hwan, who portrayed their own characters meticulously.

Winner of the Special Jury Award at the 2006 Seattle International Film Festival, Host and Guest is scheduled for screening at Cine Cube in Gwanghwamun on Nov. 15. Appropriate for viewers 15 years old and above.

The Source : Koreacontent News Team

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