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

How did you get into the film industry?
I loved watching movies since I was young. When I was 19, I saw Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible, which inspired me to pursue filmmaking. I applied for a film major at university and made A Glaring Night, my graduation film.

What or who inspires you as an artist?
The love of my family, the early films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the works of David Cronenberg, Bong Joon-ho, and the art of Vincent van Gogh. Music also inspires me.

Tell us more about why you wanted to make A Glaring Night.
The Korean government had recently executed some new policies that covered multicultural families in Korea, although they are still neglecting in many ways. I also wondered about what had happened to those adopted from Korea, who live outside and have seemingly been abandoned by their own country.

I asked myself, 'What is the government doing for them?'

It was through this that I realised the Korean government had forgotten about them. I wanted to remind the public of adoptees living outside of the country, so I chose this topic as the theme for my film.

Are you excited to have an Australian Premiere at the Korean Short Film Night? How do you think the Australian audience will respond to the film?
First of all, thank you very much for giving me a chance to show my film to an Australian audience. I think the film becomes more meaningful everytime it gets the opportunity to be screened. I hope the audience can put themselves in Mike's shoes and share his joy and sorrows through the glaring night. I feel that the film will inspire some thought about adoptees and finding one's self.

What's next for you?
I am planning to continue studying as I think I still have many things left to learn. I hope to make my next film after this.

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