Looking for a Beautiful Future

in 18th Busan International Film Festival

by Chiseko Tanaka

Lee Yong-seung’s 10 Minutes is the best of the Busan International Film Festival’s New Currents section. The story is about a young man looking for a beautiful future. The story is very ordinary and the situation is not so particular and it has a style that is easy to be understood by everybody. Then what is the remarkable point of this film?

It is the way to make us complete the film with our own creative power of imagination. What will happen in those tenminutes? Will the hero accept the offer of the boss who treated him faithlessly? Will he make a destructive tragedy? Or could any number of things happen? That does not mean to let the audience make their favorite ending. That means to make the audience think and use their imagination as much as possible. I myself made a violent ending as the scene of the very ending is not so important for a film. Thisway of thinking is important.  In this sense the film has a new creative dramaturge.

LEE Yong-seung, the director of 10 Minutes, has an anarchic sense of violence. The hero shows a possibility to kill his boss and his colleagues when he is in a restaurant with them. Not only that situation of our mistreated hero, but also the symbolic shot of killing fish suggests a bloody happening. That kind of shot is important. We can use it when we think about the closingten minutes of the film.

Among the rest of the 11 films of New Currents, Again (Yurusenai, Aitai) is good. This film has a strong power of emotions. Director Junichi Kanai has too much sympathy for the young heroin so he makes a very sincere and compromised ending. That is the film’s most regrettable actions.

It is not so bad for new directors to follow their seniors as to follow is sometimes to start. We remember that Jafar Panahicame from Abbas Kiarostami. That is the power of the Iranian cinema so why not the Korean cinema? So when I saw the opening part of Ahn Seonkyoung’s Pascha, I expected a new talent, but one who might be a female Kim Ki-duk I thought. The style and the stubbornness of the characters look like those of Kim Ki-duk, but I soon found that her film was full of sentimentalism based on the heroin’s self-pity. The self-pity itself is not bad and it might have even been a great theme of the film if it was criticized by the director. Pascha could have been better.

Hannah Espia’s Transit is a very strong film about Filipino labourers in Israel whose human rights must be respected. The message of this film is very clear and the director’s power is very evident. The director made a lot of research so each character reflects the problems of the real situation of these Filipino labourers. If anything, that is the problem of this film. You will be wishing that the characters should be free as themselves.

Apart from the New Currents section, the retrospective of Park Chul-Soo was very interesting with 301/302 (Samgongil Samgonge, 1995) is full of passion of filmmaking.

Edited by Glenn Dunks