Seems I haven’t posted anything for more than a month. I should get into my previous bad habit of not blogging again. Toronto Korean Film Festival is going on this week here in Toronto. I could not attend the first screening which happened last friday as I had to go to my previous house where our Japanese housemate was going back to Japan (via Taiwan). I participated in a simple contest conducted by Toronto Reel Asian guys, which was as simple as just mentioning our name and e-mailing it to them. I won tickets for both of their contests which was pair of tickets for 2 days. Unfortunately I could not go yesterday as I had to attend something more important. Sorry to say that the tickets went waste. Therefore I didn’t want to miss out today. I called my other friend Evans, who is also a Korean learner if he would like to join me as I won 2 tickets.
Below are my personal reviews. I also wrote the actual synopsis from the tkff site and mentioned it wherever I did.
You can find more info on the festival and movies being screened here
I hope you like my opinions. Thank you for reading it.
Nan Jian Wan Zi 난자완스 (2012) 18 Minutes
It’s basically a 18 minute short movie. It’s about a small experience of a typical university girl student of how she expected her birthday would be a great day by preparing dinner with all her love for his boy friend and how it was ruined in the most typical cultural way (in my opinion) as possible. It was a bit funny. I would say it was a lite pleasant short movie. I liked it.
From tkff :
Making a plate of nan jian wan zi (a type of Chinese cuisine) means more than just preparing a meal to Bom. Hoping to impress her crush, she spends the entire morning of her birthday cooking a meal for him. This film elaborates on that last ingredient that completes any dish – love.
Ari 아리 (2011) 3 Minutes (World Premiere)
: “a lyrical dance reflects a young woman escape to the world.” – this was written as synopsis at the tkff page.
I think that describes everything. It had like a pretty Korean girl dancing ballet for an amazing music, which also had a good photography, all this just in 3 minutes. I don’t know how to describe it.
Etude solo 에튀드 솔로 (2011) 19 Minutes
This was my favorite short movie of all I have watched tonight, even though there was other short movie more entertaining to me than this one. I am not sure but I felt like it had a small positive nuance message that we never know what positive coincidences or experiences we might face in future even if our life is an uncertain state.
A piano tuner is called to a children’s outdoor concert for tuning. There, he runs into his first love who he had played piano with in his childhood.
The ordinary people 보통의 존재 (2011) 19 Minutes
This was quite interesting, based on the ‘salary man
‘ getting stressed out and having nightmares concept. I am sure there must be tons of main stream Japanese movies back in 70s, 80s or 90s considering ‘salary man’ actually came from Japanese typical work culture.
Sae-yoon lives an ordinary life as an office employee and leads a mundane schedule. One day, he starts to question the repetitiveness of his life, and finds himself being chased by those that were watching him.
Mark’s festival 마크의 축제 31 Minutes
At 31 minutes, this was the longest short movie of tonight. Although the script was too obvious and quite predictable, especially, being a concept on culture shock topic still I found it to be the most entertaining one, probably because I related myself to the main male lead who appeared to be quite picky and not adapting to new cultures easily enough, but, I also found it too absurd too because no foreigner, especially white person is unaware of the east-asian or other cultures and the culture shocks they might face prior to meeting an oriental girl or going to their hometowns.This might have been a great short movie if I we had not been exposed to foreign cultures at such huge extent thanks to the internet nowadays and if the short movie came back in the 90s. Nevertheless, it was still a good enjoyable one. Note that the female lead also appears in the first short movie I mentioned above.
I actually thought this must be a true story of the white guy shown in the movie, but as I browse about Moon Choi in the internet I doubt if it was a true story. May be I just assumed a lot.
Mark visits his girlfriend Jenny’s hometown, a remote countryside in South Korea for his holiday. During his stay, not only does he experience a culture shock, but also confronts the dilemma in his long relationship with Jenny. Their differences result in an argument that jeopardizes their relationship.
Sera 쎄라 (2011) 10 Minutes
Sera sensed that tonight wasn’t going to be the same. When she tells her middle-aged lover about how she felt, he asks her if she would like to start over with him. As she’s questioning the meaning of this suggestion, the man receives a text…
Metamorphosis 변신이야기 (2011) 29 Minutes
Before the short movie started screening, director of the film festival, who is a young Korean girl shouted from her seat that this is going to be the last one of the night and would be a bit violent and that people who don’t like violence might leave. When she said that, my friends giggled a bit, while I looked forward to it as I wanted to see how violent can it really get. This was a good one too, a mix of vampire stuff and random mugging culture I suppose, but the violence which was mentioned was just some gross stuff like which we see in movies like ‘Final Destination’ or ‘Saw’ which makes it just gross but not really violent. In fact it was a bit funny and my friends were laughing throughout. (They were laughing for other short movies too, of course they show no disrespect to the movies shown)
Sung-gil is a budding comic artist in slump and goes to a park to relax. One day, he follows a charming girl from the park and gets lost in the woods. Then one guy comes up to him and suggests Sung-gil to pitch. When Sung-gil tries to stop pitching, the guy threatens him and Sung-gil must fear for his life.Nevertheless, all the above movies are a must watch. Especially for people who are into Korean stuff.
I am looking forward to watching ‘Sympathy for Lady Vengeance’
coming sunday, which is third installment of the ‘The Vengeance Trilogy’. ‘Old Boy’
was one of the first Korean movies I watched back in late 2007, probably which got me a bit into Korean stuff though not entirely and I have been waiting to watch ‘Sympathy for Lady Vengeance’ since that time, probably was saving it for later as I don’t want to use the best of the stuff.