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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OKI'S MOVIE (Ok hui ui yeonghwa)

By D.E.Levine

2010 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL SELECTION

Director: Hong Sang-soo
Writer: Hong Sang-soo
Cast: Lee Sunkyun, Jung Yumi and Moon Sungkeun
Producer: Kim Kyounghee
Original Music: We Zongyun
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Country of Origin: South Korea
Language: Korean with English subtitles
Genre: Comedy, Drama

Oki's Movie actually consists of four short films where the three main characters appear in all four of the films, but have different but overlapping roles in each of the films.

The first film "A Day for Incantation" follows Jingu after he has a few successful films produced. Jingu is a philanderer who feels entitled due to his success. He wants to rest on his laurels and achieve success without actually putting in the work. Overall, he's a very annoying character who drinks, smokes and chases women.

The second film "King of Kisses" takes us back to Jingu's college days when he tries to fall in love with a woman. Known as "Psycho" to his friends he pesters Oki with the continual story that he's never dated before. The film seems unfinished and even juvenile as it represents a common form of student filmmakers production.

The third film "After the Snowstorm" finds Professor Song waiting for his students after a snowstorm. The two students, Jingu and Oki, ask questions about life for which Professor song doesn't have good answers. Song claims he isn't very wise and after indulging in a dinner of live octopus, vomits it up outside the restaurant. While the film isn't overly interesting, it does set the stage for the fourth film.

The fourth film "Oki's Movie" is told from the viewpoint of Oki, who compiles a student film to tell her story of loving two men - one older (Professor Song) and one younger (the filmmaker Jingu). The storyline is basically about Oki taking both men to Mt. Acha on different days in winter. Oki's voice provides a voice over telling the viewer what transpired with each visit and how the visits and the two men compared to each other.

The films are interesting but lackluster. The major interest derives from how they compare with other films done by Hong Sang-soo.