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'Lump Sugar' Goes Down Well

2006/07/25 | 658 views | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

Coming domestic movie "Lump sugar" (Kaksoltang) is the first film to feature a dynamic horse race, and its main actress says during the shooting she learned that humans and animals can develop a deep friendship, an event that took place in the film's story.

"Of course, it was so hard to act with a horse in the film", Im Soo-jung said Monday during a news conference followed by the preview screening of "Lump sugar" at Yongsan CGV multiplex theaters in Seoul. "But as we shot more and more together, the cranky and inattentive horse started to look into my eyes just like my mother when I hugged her or cried. I think I and the horse shared each other's feelings".

Directed by Lee Hwan-gyeong, the film revolves around Si-eun (played by Im) who dreams of becoming a jockey.

She loves a horse named Changgun, but it dies while giving birth. As she lives with a single father, she feels sympathy for the foal and she takes a good care of her, naming her Chundung, which means thunder in Korean.

But her father doesn't want his daughter to become a jockey and sells Chundung without telling her.

Two years pass and Si-eun becomes a jockey, but she experiences discrimination because she is a woman. One day, she encounters Chundung on a street where she pulls a wagon to promote a dance club.

The role was challenging for the actress who has played cute characters in hits such as the television drama "Mianhada Saranghanda" ("Sorry, I Love You") (2005), an omnibus film about various couples "Sad Movie" (2005) and the horror film "A Tale of Two Sisters" (2003).

For months she had to take an intensive training course in horse riding, and sometimes encountered dangerous moments including accidents in which she was on the verge of being kicked or bitten by her partner.

As Chundung is not a "professional" horse actor trained for movies but a race horse chosen from some 1,000 horses for a more realistic portrayal of the horse races in the film, the acting was more difficult than she expected.

But Im said that she learned more about how to express her inner feelings tactfully thanks to the film.

"Even if you're ready, you can't shoot if the horse is not ready. It's very tricky. But the experiences from the film gave me a chance to develop my acting skills especially in the control and expression of my inner feelings at the right moment", Im said.

After "Lump sugar", Im will star in director Park Chan-wook's new film "Ssaibogusiman Kwanchana" along with singer Rain. In the romantic drama, whose title is roughly translated "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK", she plays a peculiar and wacky girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg.

"Lump sugar" opens at local theaters on Aug. 10.

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