Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: Cyrano Agency / 시라노;연애조작단 (2010)

Anyone familiar with Korean cinema will know that the romantic comedy genre is a staple of the industry, usually pitting an enviously good lucking guy and girl up against the odds to get together and live happily ever after. However in ‘Cyrano Agency’, this tried and tested method got given a refreshing and cynical twist, and came out all the better for it.

The movies unique concept is no doubt down to director and screenwriter Kim Hyeon-seok. ‘Cyrano Agency’ is his third, and at the time of writing latest movie, having not only directed but also wrote the screenplays for his previous efforts as well. Hyeon-seok is a versatile guy, and fans of Korean cinema will most likely have seen something he’s worked on one way or another. Weather it be as an actor in the movie ‘Chingu / 친구’, as the screenwriter for ‘JSA – Joint Security Area - 공동경비구역 JSA’, or as assistant director on ‘The Isle / 섬’. With ‘Cyrano Agency’, he transferred to screen a concept he first developed while still in film school, and it was certainly worth the wait to see it come to fruition.

To summarize the plot would be best done by imagining the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies, only swap Tom Cruise for Eom Tae-woong, and swap scenarios such as trying to stop someone from trying to end the world, to trying to make a girl fall in love with the guy that’s hired them. Essentially Tae-woong and his team, played by Park Sin-hye, Park Cheol-min, and Jeon Ah-min, play a group of out of work actors who, from a run down old theater, operate an agency that specializes in making people fall in love. How do they do this? By writing carefully researched scripts, creating perfectly timed eye contact, and making that all important first kiss on a rainy evening (if it’s not raining enough, don’t worry there’s a rain machine overhead).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Interview: "A Glaring Night" with Lee Mi-ji

Our final piece of the puzzle in our Shorts Showcase is an interview with Lee Mi-ji and her graduation film A Glaring Night. The film screened as part of the Korean Short Film Night 2012 on November 29th at Cinema On The Park, a weekly Korean film night in Sydney. 

A Glaring Night follows the story of Mike, a young Korean man adopted to an American family when he was a baby, who returns to Korea in search of his father. The film centres around one single night in Daegu, as Mike, while driving his taxi, encounters a passenger who might hold the key to finding his father.

The film previously screened at the Pucheon International Fantastic Film Festival this year in the shorts section, and was voted the Audience Favourite at the Korean Short Film Night screening at Cinema On The Park last November.

Read on for a short interview with director Lee Mi-ji and her film A Glaring Night