Early Rain (Chou) (1966)|
Director : Jeong Jin-Woo
Production Company : Keuk Dong Entertainment
Date of Rate : 1966-06-10
Running Time : 100 min.
Opening Theater : Academy Theater
Genre : Melodrama
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Na Han-Bong
Producer : Cha Tae-Jin
Executive Producer : Ma Won-Il
Director of PhotoGraphy : Yoo Jae-Hyeong
Gaffer : Park Jin-Su
Music : Park Chun-Seok
Art Director : No In-Taek
Editor : Kim Hee-Su
Shin Seong-Il, Moon Hee, Twist Kim
One rainy day, Cheol (Shin Seong-il), who is a lowly auto mechanic, and Yeong-hui, who works as a maid at the home of the French ambassador, meet by chance. Cheol has a great desire to succeed in life. He tells Yeong-hui that he is the son of a businessman and pretends to be the owner of a luxury sedan. Attracted by Cheol, Yeong-hui also pretends to be the French ambassador's daughter, and the two promise to meet only on rainy days, when she can hide her real identity by wearing an expensive French raincoat. Cheol and Yeong-hui continue to meet for romantic dates in the rain and their love deepens day by day. However, Yeong-hui's conscience is tortured by the need to keep lying, and she confesses the truth to Cheol. Unable to hide his disappointment and anger at the shock of having his hopes dashed, Cheol abandons Yeong-hui.
"A representative youth movie from the 1960s, and the hit that catapulted top actress Moon Hee to stardom"
Along with The Barefooted Young (Maenbal-ui cheongchun), which gave birth to the Shin Seong-il/Um Aing-ran couple, Early Rain is one of the most prominent of the 1960s youth movies a genre that enjoyed great popularity at the time. The film also opened the era of the Nam Jeong-im/Yoon Jung-hee/Moon Hee troika by catapulting the latter to stardom.
Yeong-hui, who is a maid for the French ambassador, and Cheol, who works at an auto shop, are young members of the lower class seeking to improve their stations in life. The valorization of the French ambassador and the high value attributed to Western commodities indicate that the West was a symbol of social advancement and an object of admiration in Korean society at the time. The moment Yeong-hui dons the raincoat a commodity from the West she feels as if she has already climbed the social ladder and, her confidence instantly boosted, finds herself performing a sort of masquerade. But the need to meet only on rainy days already forecasts a tragic ending. Cheol does not so much like Yeong-hui herself as pursues his desire to improve his social status by dating her. Their mistaken encounter and excessive desire for social advancement ultimately lead to misfortune. Excessive desire reveals its destructive side: even though they had the same dream, the man sadistically punishes the woman in order to vent his twisted desire and pathetic, dead-end reality.
Made during director Jung Jin-woo's heyday, Early Rain is strikingly unconventional and poetic in both narrative and visual terms; it presents a modern visual aesthetic that appeals to the younger generation. In particular, the movie's depiction of rain, the final scene in which Yeong-hui is raped and discarded on a rainy day, and the scene showing her setting forth into the sun in her raincoat as she utters her monologue exhibit a bold, fresh aesthetic that even recalls the aesthetic of Western Modernism. Such visual artistry lends sophistication to the nihilistic yet tragic atmosphere that characterized youth movies of the day.
Director Bio: Jeong Jin-woo (1938- )
He worked as an assistant director to director Chung Chang-wha, a giant of Korean action films, and helped with the screenplay in director Im Gwon-taek's debut film, Farewell Tumen River (Dumangang-a Jal Itgeora). In 1963, he made his directorial debut with The Only Son (Oe-adeul) (1963) at the age of 23, setting the Korean record for youngest person to direct a movie. After finishing Early Rain (Chou) (1966), one of the most famous teenage movies of the 1960s, he went on to direct The Ran's Elegy (Ran-ui Biga) (1965), The Secret Meeting (Milhoe) (1965), and A Student Boarder (Hasuksaeng) (1966), showcasing his superb skills as a film director. He founded Woojin Films in 1969, working actively in producing films for 25 years and pioneering simultaneous recording technology. He made films in various genres and, in the 70s, achieved box office success with erotic folk movies such as Wild Ginseng (Simbwattda) (1979) and Does Cuckoo Cry at Night (Ppeokkugido bam-e uneunga) (1980). He worked actively as a producer and director of films during the 80s and in the 90s, entered the movie theatre business by founding Cinehouse in Gangnam. He attempted to make a comeback with Mugoonghwa-Korean National Flower (Mugunghwakkoch-i pi-eoss-eumnida) (1995), which drew much public attention because of its enormous production cost and spectacular special effects, but the movie failed with critics and audiences alike.