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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Secret Sunshine" or "Milyang" )

 

directed by Chang-dong Lee
South Korea 2007

 

Renowned Korean filmmaker Lee Chang Dong, the director of Green Fish, Peppermint Candy, and Oasis, returns to the director's chair in 2007 with the critically acclaimed Secret Sunshine. This is his fourth film, and his first directorial work since his stint as Minister of Culture and Tourism from 2003 to 2004. In addition to Lee's long-awaited return, Secret Sunshine attracted much attention with its pairing of two of the biggest names in Korean cinema - Song Kang Ho and Jeon Do Yeon, who was named Best Actress at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her amazing performance.

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Although religious faith only plays a part in Lee Chang-dong’s new film—his first after a tenure as South Korean Minister of Culture after making 2002’s excellent Oasis—one has to be impressed by the way he and actress Jeon Do-yeon approach one of the hardest possible things to express in cinema—conversion. They do it not through some remarkable conceit or technical expression, but rather they provide perhaps the most vital of all interpretive aspects—context. Secret Sunshine, one might say, is a study of that context, a study of denial. It builds innocuously enough, with widowed mother Shin-ae (Jeon) moving with her young son Jun (Seon Jeong-yeob) from Seoul to Miyang, his father’s hometown whose name in Chinese translates to the film’s title. The reason for the move, like the games the mother and son play that verge on casually masochistic—Jun plays dead and pretends to have gone missing—are quietly disconcerting, all hinting with that wonderful kind of overt subtlety found in melodramas at the possibly unhealthy way Shin-ae and her boy are coping with—or masking over—tremendous grief and loss. These hints are superbly communicated naturalistically in little things and small mannerisms, unfolding at a gradual, leisurely pace as the family settles into the small town, the mother both irritating some of the locals as well as making new friends, and generally keeping both the town and the audience guessing as to who Shin-ae really is behind the veneer of her family’s new life.
 

Excerpt from www.d-kaz.com

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Theatrical Release: 05/17/2007

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DVD Review: Art Service (Special Limited Edition - Korea Version) - Region 3 - NTSC

Big thanks to Luiz R. for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Art Service

Region 3 - NTSC

Runtime 142 min
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.31 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 Korean Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles Korean, English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Art Service

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• 2 Dual-Layered DVD Special Edition
• Special Features:
• 2 Audio Commentaries
• Making Of
• Interviews
• Trailers
• Photo Card
• Photo Booklet

DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2007
Special Case

Chapters 23

 

Comments:

NOTE: Criterion Blu-ray reviewed HERE.

This is a fast but beautifully packed release that comes full of extras including a nice photo-book. Unfortunately, everything is in Korean save for the movie that includes optional English subtitles.

The image looks very good, but presents the usual exaggerated black levels I find in almost all of my Korean DVDs, other than that I couldn't find anything to complain about.

There are 3 different audio options, the Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 is the main audio and sounds great, there is also 2 audio commentaries, both Korean without any subtitles.

 - Luiz R.

 


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