First Love (35mm) + Q&A Director Lee Myung-se

First Love
Film info

Director: Lee Myung-se
Cast: Kim Hye-soo, Choi Chong-won, Cho Min-ki
Cert 12, 108mins, 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.

Close-up Film Centre, 10 Nov 2018 8:00 pm

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