Mr. Park (Bakseobang) (1960)|
Director : Kang Dae-Jin
Production Company : Hwa Seong Films Co., Ltd
Date of Theatrical Release : 1960-10-05
Running Time : 107 min.
Genre : Melodrama
Writer : Kim Young-Su
Opening Theater : Kukje Theater
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Cho Nam-Sa
Producer : Lee Hwa-Ryong
Executive Producer : Park Hee-Baek
Director of PhotoGraphy : Lee Mun-Baek
Gaffer : Yoon Young-Seon
Music : Lee In-Kwon
Art Director : Won Je-Rae
Editor : Kim Hee-Su
Sound/Recording : Lee Kyeong-Sun
Kim Seung-Ho,Cho Mi-Ryeong,Kim Jin-Kyu,Hwang Jeong-Sun
Mr. Park, who works as a plasterer, has raised and provided for his three children by repairing charcoal fireplaces. Although he is uneducated and obstinate, he has a good heart. He disapproves of the fact that his eldest daughter Yong-sun (Cho Mi-ryeong) is dating a young hoodlum named Jae-cheon (Hwang Hae). He is similarly unhappy with his younger daughter Myeong-sun (Um Aing-ran), who works at an airline company and is dating her co-worker Ju-sik (Bang Su-il), but he is eventually won over by Ju-sik's good character and gives his consent to their marriage. By contrast, Mr. Park immediately and unconditionally bestows his blessing on his eldest son Yong-beom (Kim Jin-kyu) when the latter expresses his wish to marry Jeom-rye (Kim Hye-jeong). Faced with her father's severe displeasure, Yong-sun runs away from home and moves in with Jae-cheon. To make matters worse, Yong-beom, whom Mr. Park had relied on, asks his permission to go work at his company's regional office in Thailand after marriage. One day, Mr. Park is summoned by Ju-sik's aunt, who insults him by saying that she cannot consent to a marriage between Myeong-sun and her nephew because of the vast difference in their family backgrounds. Returning home from his humiliating ordeal, Mr. Park grants Yong-beom permission to go to Thailand, encouraging him to succeed at all costs, and welcomes Jae-cheon into the family.
Korea's representative family melodrama, Mr. Park reveals the conflict of values suffered by the lower classes at the cusp of modernity through the clash between the protagonist and his children. The film succinctly presents Park's situation using a series of minor episodes. For instance, the scene in which several young men approach Park as he sits drinking and start an argument, the near-death moment when he is almost run over by a truck, and his line, "I don't know why rich people like to drink a foul-tasting thing like whiskey," effectively show the threat of modernity besetting Park as well as his resistance to it. As revealed by his sexist attitude toward his children's relationships, Park staunchly defends his pre-modern values. To him, modern ideas and values appear dangerous. However, his children are unable to understand their father's rejection of modernity. To them, "pre-modern" merely means "irrational."Park strenuously censures his eldest daughter, who wishes to marry of her own free will, but instead of yielding to his wishes she runs away from home. Nor can he get his other two children to bend to his will. Ultimately, he finds himself incapable of going against the flow of modernity, and ends up accommodating his children's demands and values. The one person he depended on, his son, gets on a plane (considered by Park as a dangerous object) and leaves to make his fortune. However, the movie does not push Park outside the pale of modernity. The ending, which shows the whole family coming together for a happy wedding feast, indicates that the father's authority is restored through his children. As if to emphasize this fact, the eldest son grabs hold of Park and tearfully expresses his love and trust for his father several times over. Here, we glimpse director Kang Dae-jin's stance toward the clash betweenmodernity and pre-modernity. The theme of overcoming this historical conflict via inter-generational reconciliation becomes even clearer in his next film, A Coachman (Mabu).
Adapted from a radio series written by Kim Young-soo
Director Bio: Kang Dae-jin (1933-1987)
Born in 1933. After graduating from the Department of Theatre and Film at Sorabol University of Arts, he worked as an assistant director under director Shin Sang-ok for 3 years. He made his directorial debut early, at the age of 27, with the comedy, Like father, like son (Bujeonjajeon) (1959). After his debut, he concentrated on making melodramas or teenage movies. Of those, his early movies that center around the lives of the working-class people such as A Coachman (Mabu) (1961), Mr. Park (Bakseobang) (1960), and Fishermen (Eobudeul) (1961), make up the most important part of his oeuvre. His other significant works include Times of Love and Hatred (Sarang-gwa Mi-um-ui Sewol) (1962), Don't Break Damaged Reeds (Sang-han Galdaereul Kkeokjimara) (1962), The Stepmother (Sae-eomma) (1963), and Sorrowful Youth (Cheongchun Geukjang) (1967). He passed away in April of 1987, at the age of 54.