Director: Lee Myung-se
Cast: Kim Hye-soo, Choi Chong-won, Cho Min-ki
Film genre: Drama, Romance
Cert 12, 108 mins, 1993
Yeong-shin is an innocent young woman from a nice family living in a pleasant if fairly poor neighbourhood in a town somewhere far from the big city. When her am-dram club decides to invite a writer from Seoul to come direct their production of Our Town, Yeong-shin, despite an inauspicious first encounter with a grubby, hard-drinking Chang-wook, manages to fall head over heels.
The film plays with our melodramatic reflexes, involving us in a sentimental education made all the more bittersweet through the nuanced acting of Kim Hye-soo. Rather than offering melo-realism, however, the film revels in the sheer beauty of its sets, subtle lighting, fantasy scenes – Yeong-shin’s ghostly visit to Chang-wook is both funny and heart-warming. Our Town has been termed a form of meta-theatre. Maybe we could consider Lee Myung-se’s aesthetic a kind of meta-cinema.