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Note that King and the Clown was released on December 29, so it is listed on the page Seoul population: KoreanImported Total admissions: Sporting perpetual bruises on his face, he spends his free time reading martial arts manuals and taking fighting lessons from various adults in town, in a desperate attempt to learn how to defend himself.
Nothing seems to do any good, however.
One day, at a private reading room, he comes across an eccentric old man named Pan-su who possesses an amazing skill for fighting. In other words, he fights dirty. Pan-su somewhat reluctantly takes Byung-tae under his wing and starts to teach him what he has learned about fighting and about life.
These include gems of wisdom such as, "Sand and spit are the most useful objects at hand during a fight. Set in a grim, ugly-looking town where the people seem motivated by boredom rather than any enthusiasm for life, the film is most memorable for its black humor and the great presence shown by its two lead actors.
It may seem superfluous to say this after 3-Iron, but Jae really can communicate a great deal to the viewer even when he is not speaking. Here he plays this role with a mixture of world-weary passivity and sudden, electric bursts of violence.
Although lacking the depth of the other roles he has played in the past few years, Pan-su possesses an attitude that is uniquely Baek Yoon-shik.
The Art of Fighting is well acted and capably put together, with a mostly predictable but engrossing narrative. Yet the film leaves you with an odd sense of emptiness. Part of this may be due to the inherent pessimism in the work, and its portrayal of a town where life is bleak and unlikely to improve.
Yet on a cinematic level too, one wishes that there were just a bit more substance to the film. Ultimately Art of Fighting is worth watching, but is unlikely to rank as one of the highlights of Compensating for this lack of regular camaraderie, Eun-hye has also created an imaginary friend.
In this way, "Seaside Flower" represents what might be a continuing theme in the series, allowing a character to play themselves or at least indigenously represent the community explored within the short, as Yeo Kyun-dong ventured in the first series in his short about the physically disabled which featured Kim Moon-ju, an actor with cerebral palsy.
Made while he was still working on his essay on masculinity that was Crying Fist, Ryoo provides an added treat with a surprise cameo by someone from the previous series, making me wonder if this is also going to be a regular aspect of the future omnibuses.
The center of this documentary is around one particular person, Kim Won-sub, a Korean-Chinese who died in the streets of Hyehwa-dong from the cold on December 9,a day when director Kim himself was in that very neighborhood. Yes, the air-conditioning may have had something to do with it, but I think something more was responsible for the chill I felt while watching this film.
That is, how amazing Jang is in his complexity, weaving together a story like no one else in South Korean cinema today. Jang chose to look at the discrimination of contract workers. The key joke in the film revolves around a paper-and-pencil game about which I am unfamiliar, but the crowd lost it when Jang brought his creative wit to this game of the Korean everyday.
And it is that packed crowd that was just as much a part of my If You Were Me 2 experience as the shorts themselves.
Bizarre is the operative word when describing the film and the characters running through it, and most of the movie takes on the atmosphere of a light-hearted Twilight Zone. The first chapter of the omnibus is a familiar coming of age story with a twist.
Mercilessly teased and bullied, Do-yeon Bong Tae-gyu knows that he is the low man on the totem pole at his high school where he daydreams about the drop-dead gorgeous Ji-yeon Ko Eun-ah who sits in front of him in class. However, the living hell he faces daily changes dramatically when he discovers himself sprouting tufts of hair in unusual places and developing fangs.
When his parents inform him that he is actually from a long line of werewolves, Do-yeon greets the fact with a mixture of despair and terror.
The resulting story of learning to accept oneself is an interesting metaphor for the difficulties of adolescence. Another episode affectionately parodies the kung-fu movies of old where we find a man named Typhoon Kim Su-hyeon seeking to train with a mystic master of martial arts in order to take revenge on the man who killed his father.
The acting in this story is exaggerated for humor, but the most entertaining aspect of this sequence is its predictability. It follows the plotline of similar movies made decades before and even pays homage to actor Hwang Jeong-ri, a Korean-born star of many Hong Kong action films of the 70s and 80s.
Clever additions and numerous cameos add interest and keep the proceedings fresh. However, what works so well in the martial arts story proves to be disastrous for the story of a serial killer Park Seong-bin whose car has broken down. He finds himself forced to search for a phone and winds up at a house occupied by a very unusual family.
The predictability of this episode, which is actually the second chapter of the omnibus, is not played for humor. In fact, it takes itself far too seriously.The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum.
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