Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Palwol ui Christmas (Christmas in August)

Last Christmas.

Palwol ui Christmas (Christmas in August)

Starring Han Suk-kyu (Shiri) / Shim Eun-ha
Director Hur Hin-ho (April Snow)

(Because it's Christmas.)

Short, sweet, yet surprisingly tough. This movie about an unremarkable man with a terminal disease pulses with life, quiet and natural. Jung-won (Hang) chuckles, drinks with high school friends and falls in love in his last few weeks while he writes down instructions on how to run his photo developing store. His interaction with his family is mundane, devoid of drama and soundtrack, but the wonderfully expressive actor that Hang is, Jung-won always appears like he is memorizing everything. The flavors of his father's cooking; the conversations over watermelons.

Da-rim (Shim) enters his life in a stumble, harassed and unapologetic. But when she becomes a regular visitor, armed with ice cream and a secret smile, you know it's love.

In one of the film's best moments, Jung-won tries to teach his father how to operate the VCR. We've all been there; grrr-arrrgh. Jung-won storms out, frustrated. Desperate. In his room, he writes down detailed instructions. Step 1. Step 2. With such quiet formality, it fucking hurts. *****

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