27 November 2007

fun indy flick

a film about making a film.

last year, myspace put me in touch with a gyopo filmmaker who saw a film that i produced. last fall while eating kalbi in gangnam josh asked if he could tape our conversation because sometimes he gets lonely. he explained that prior to korea he chose an npr internship over starting a career at the fbi. curiously, both tracks seem equally appropriate for this socially quirky dude.

in between his frequent film trips to hong kong, we hang out. a coupla years back korea's film industry was all the buzz, but of late it's been lackluster. the pending us-korea fta deal won't help things, but my friend says that the independent scene is robust.

last night we met in busy myeongdong to see a film debuting at the seoul independent film festival. he was excited to watch the "milky way liberation front" (은하해방전선), but there was but 1 ticket left unsold. i could feel him seriously considering buying the ticket and asking me to go home. instead, i got another reminder that good things happen to people who are friendly and request favors. he talked to a festival organizer and several minutes later we got in for free.

admittedly, i was disappointed that english subtitles didn't pop up with the korean dialogue. what follows is what i cloud glean from 100-minutes of being distracted by the main character's very well-defined lips.

but, from what i gathered, it's a film about a serious, verbose and young aspiring filmmaker who is bombarded by well-meaning advisors as he tries to craft his movie about an aphasic protagonist. in the process, however, it is he who loses his voice, which requires his ventriloquist actor friend to intervene during negotiations with japanese investors. of course, there's also the bit about his voice being replaced by the sounds of various musical instrument unless he talks through a megaphone. in the end, although his human voice returns, it's his new deaf hunny sporting a power rangers' outfit who helps him realize the value of keeping mum.

i'm far from a film buff, but i enjoyed it. sure, it felt like a first feature-length effort in that... "i'm trying to fit four films' worth of ideas into one and of course i'm not going to cut that scene even though i should!" kind of undisciplined way. nevertheless, you should check it out.

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