Follow HanCinema
NewsLetter DailyWeekly
 
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

Reality bites drop-outs in 'Bad Movie'

2004/04/08 | 265 views | Permalink | Source

One of the greatest criticisms of "reality" cinema is that while it claims to picture things "the way they are", more often than not it is simply a vehicle for expressing middle-class and patriarchal values, or worse still, the ideology of one director or writer.

In "Bad Movie", director Jang Sun-woo ("Resurrection of the Little Match Girl" and Lies) avoids these pitfalls by handing control of the film's script over to the group of dropouts who star in this quasi-documentary about megalopolis Seoul's maggoty underbelly.

Released to a maelstrom of critical and social controversy in 1997, "Bad Movie" follows the lives of juvenile delinquents who roam the streets of Seoul at night and the homeless who congregate around Seoul Station. The film's story revolves around "Pretty", "Bird", "Princess" and "Red Byun", as they stagger from one disaster to another, enjoying brief interludes of happiness usually brought about by criminal good fortune (the scene in which the gang smoke a 10 million won check after burglarizing an office drips with irony).

All of the main characters - real-life runaways who have either visited with the "bond ghost" (sniffed glue) or been the victims of theft and sexual abuse - have nothing to lose, turning in high-energy performances that convincingly convey the brutal realities of their worlds.

The film is broken into loosely connected chapters and episodes by Lee Sung-gang's ("My Beautiful Girl, Mari") eye-catching animation sequences, with the story line progressing logically enough so that those without Korean language skills (the DVD version was released without English subtitles) can follow without too much pain.

The only moments of confusion are caused by the actions of the Korean Censorship Board, who cut "must-see" parts of the movie, producing occasional lapses into incomprehensibility.

In cinematographic terms, Jang and his team have crafted a grainy, "real-life" viewing experience which moves in sync with the action. One minute you're mixed up in the thick of things. The next, you're watching safely from a fly-on-the-wall perspective; a result of shooting scenes simultaneously using 8 mm, 16 mm and 35 mm cameras.

"Bad Movie" is a fascinating experiment in "open cinema" that offers a rare insight into the lives of Seoul's new underclass. With its catchy soundtrack and a cameo appearance by Song Kang-ho ("Memory of a Murder" and "Foul King") as a homeless man, the film is a worthy 122-minute journey into Seoul's heart of darkness.

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss


 

 

 Previous news
  • [Local and Foreign Films With English Subtitles]
    2004/04/08 (Source)
    ▣ Hwangsanbol (2003)
    Saturday at noon
    Seoul Selection Bookstore
    Set in the seventh century, when the Korean peninsula was split into three kingdoms ? Koguryo, Paekche and Silla ? the film "Hwangsanbol" is a sly look at the linguistic differences between the regions then and now. Working off,...
    More

  • Well-Paced `Dance' Shimmies Between Art and Swindle
    2004/04/08 (Source)
    By Joon Soh
    Staff Reporter

    Park Jung-woo, the screenwriter behind such hit local films as "Kwangbokjol Tuksa (Jail Breaker)" and "Chuyuso Supkyoksakon (Attack the Gas Station!)", has stepped up to direct his first feature and he doesn't fail to deliver. A story about a man and his utter devotio,...
    More

  • Sol Kyung-gu Expands Waistline for New Film
    2004/04/07 (Source)
    Sol Kyung-gu, star of such films as "Silmido" and "Oasis", is reported to have gained nearly 17 kilograms to play the role of a famous wrestler in his next film.
    Last year, Sul weighed in at 73 kilograms to play a member of a 1960s suicide commando unit in his most recent film "Silmido".

    In pr,...
    More

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not> for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Remove ads

Sign up

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

X