(aka "Keuk jang jeon" )

 

directed by Hong Sang-soo
South Korea 2005

 

One of the greatest new talents working today, the films of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo are essentially non-existent for American audiences. Not one of his six remarkable features have secured US distribution, and if it were not for confident festival programmers and the freedom granted us by owning an all region DVD player, these films would continue to remain as hard to see as they are great.

Hong’s latest film, a last minute entry at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, takes on the structure of a film-within-a-film as it tells the story of two hopeless romantics who fall in love with the same woman. The less you know about the film’s structure the better, suffice to say that it’s a magical way for Hong to deal with his familiar theme of the romantic triangle. As is typical of a Hong film, a great amount of time is spent watching these people drink booze as they converse about love and life. It’s no surprise that Hong’s films have often been compared to the work of Eric Rohmer in their handling of talk heavy adult infatuation, however there is an underlying theme of alienation and a focus on history and memory in all of his works that places his films closer to Antonioni and Resnais in my book. Unique to this film, is a distinctive abandonment of Hong’s typical stationary camera for one that frequently zooms to convey emotion, an interesting device that serves as a stepping-stone into unlocking the wonders that this film has to offer. After all, a “tale of cinema” can only be told in the language of cinema, as perfect a case as ever for life imitating art.  out of   

 

Adam Lemke

Theatrical Release: May 19th, 2005 Cannes Film Festival (In Competition)

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DVD Review: Woo Sung DVD (Korean release) - Region 3 - NTSC

Big thanks to Adam Lemke for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Woo Sung DVD

Region 3 - NTSC

Runtime 1.29.15
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles Korean, English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Woo Sung DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by two Korean Film critics (unsubtitled)
• Interviews with the actors (unsubtitled)
• Promo reel

DVD Release Date: 8/04/05
Clear Keep Case w/ Cardboard Slip cover

Chapters 14

 

 

Comments The Korean DVD releases of Hong's films are usually all we ever get, so love it or hate it, this will more than likely be the only way you will ever get to see this film. Fortunately here, we have an above average DVD. There is slight combing evident in some of the earlier outdoor sequences, indicating a non-progressive transfer, but for the most part the image is crisp and finely presented.

The subtitles and audio are both high quality, placing this in the upper tier for R3 DVD’s in both categories.

The special features include a commentary by 2 Korean film critics (unsubtitled unfortunately) and interviews with each of the three principal leads (also unsubtitled).
out of     
 

 - Adam Lemke

 

 






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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

   

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Woo Sung DVD

Region 3 - NTSC


 




 

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