Yeoja, Jeong-hae

This Charming Girl

Lee Yoon-ki

Korea 2004

16.02. 19:00 Delphi Filmpalast (Ger. subtitles)
17.02. 10:00 CinemaxX 3 (Eng. subtitles)
18.02. 14:30 CineStar 8 (Eng. subtitles)
19.02. 19:30 Filmkunsthaus Babylon (Ger. subtitles)

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A woman in her late twenties, Jeong-hae leads a routine, insular life, working in a small neighborhood post office and keeping house by herself. She is kind, neat, and calm, and seems unusually detached and peaceful for a pretty young woman her age in Seoul. It is only through brief flashbacks and Jeong-haes encounters with others that we are provided glimpses into her character. She is devoted to the memory of her artist mother. Jeong-hae adopts a stray kitten which she nurses back to health. When the kitten finally warms to her, she is again reminded of her mother, her painful hospitalization, subsequent death and her funeral. She has a surprising and rather strained lunch date with a man who tells her he is getting married. We learn that he is the ex-husband she had left sleeping on their wedding night, without explanation. In an uncommon venture on her part, Jeonghae invites a young writer, who has been mailing his manuscripts at her post office, to dinner at her house. The failure of this awkward endeavor results in another attempt to reach out, and she ends up taking care of a young drunk in a motel room. The encounter triggers revelatory memories of the reason for Jeonghaes emotional blockage, and she breaks with her routine to head, characteristically quietly and de-liberately, towards dealing with her anger and eventually healing her long-concealed wounds.

 

"Far from being a fizzy romantic comedy, this impressive first feature by former a.d. Lee Yoon-ki is a slow-burning, almost minimalist portrait of a young womans emotional emptiness. It sticks to the ribs thanks to a standout perf by lead actress Kim Ji-soo and helming by Lee that slowly seduces the viewer without becoming unbearably arty." Derek Elley

 

Production: LJ Film Co. + Bookfilms, Seoul

Screenplay: Lee Yoon-ki

Cinematographer: Choi Jin-woong

Cast: Kim Ji-soo, Hwang Jeong-min, Kim Hye-ok, Lee Dae-yeon, Lee Geum-ju

Format/screen ratio: 35mm, 1:1.85, Color

Running time: 99 min., 24 frames/sec.

Language: Korean