Holiday (Hyuil) (1968)|
Director : Lee Man-hee
Production Company : Yeon Hap Films Co., Ltd.
Running Time : 73 minutes
Genre : Melodrama
Producer : Hong Yui-seon
Planning : Jeon Ok-suk
Screenplay : Baek kyeol
Director of Photography : Lee suck-ki
Director of Lighting : Yoon Chang-hwa
Editor : Hyeon Dong-choon
Music: Jeon Jeong-Keun
Art Direction : Jeong Soo-pan
Sound Recording : Sohn In-ho
Shin Seong-il, Jeon Ji-yeon, Kim Seong-ok, Kim Soon-cheol, Ahn Eun-sook, Kim kyung-ran
On a Sunday toward the end of winter, as the church bells toll, a penniless young man named Heo Wuk (Shin Seong-il) goes to meet his beloved Ji-yeon (Jeon Ji-yeon). She is pregnant with his child, but he has no financial means to raise a family. He turns to his friends in order to get money for Ji-yeon's abortion, but they all reject him. Desperate, he steals money from one of them and runs away. The doctor tells him that Ji-yeon is sick and recommends an immediate abortion. After Ji-yeon goes into the operating room, Wuk leaves the hospital and heads to a bar. He meets a woman at a saloon and the two of them wander from one watering hole to the next. Inebriated, Heo makes love to the woman at a construction site, but comes to his senses when the sound of bells strikes his ears. He rushes to the hospital, only to learn that Ji-yeon has died on the operating table. He goes to her father to convey the tragic news, but is turned away at the door. He is caught by the friend whom he stole from and is beaten. His face covered in blood, Wuk runs through the darkened streets, remembering the happy moments he shared with Ji-yeon.
A rare gem of modern cinema that transcends time (Heo Moon-young)
If a landmark film is the result of an auspicious blend of acclaim from its contemporary audience and recognition by posterity, the inclusion of Holiday on this select list may be a departure from the norm: Holiday was never released in theatres due to censorship, and only came to light through the Korean Film Archive in 2005. Even though it arrived on the scene 37 years after it was first made, Holiday is so modern that it puts those years to shame. With superb artistic sensibility, the film depicts the bleak reality faced by Korea's youth during the late 1960s, when the country was hurtling toward the Constitutional revision enforced by President Park Chung-hee to ensure the longevity of his government. In Holiday, the suffocating and distorted atmosphere of Korean society at the time is dramatically portrayed through the tragic holiday spent by a pair of impecunious lovers who are forced to seek an abortion. The movie captures the violent, oppressive climate of the day better than any other. Holiday is located at the midpoint of director Lee Man-hee's "art film phase," when his directorial prowess was at its peak. An interesting fact is that the editorial staff of Cine 21 named Holiday as the best film of 2005 above all other films released during that year.
- According to writer Baek Kyeol, the original screenplay of Holiday included a prologue and an epilogue. In the prologue, the protagonist, played by Shin Seong-il, is found drowned, and the story begins through the dead body's mouth. In the epilogue, the protagonist's friends are unable to recognize his putrid corpse and the film ends with the police officer writing in his notebook that the identity of the drowning victim is "unknown." This screenplay was never filmed as written, because of its excessively dark content.
- During the censorship phase following the movie's completion, the Ministry of Culture & Information pronounced that it would allow Holiday to be released if the ending was changed to show the protagonist cutting his hair and enlisting with the military. However, the director, the writer, and even the producer refused to accommodate the demand, and the film never enjoyed a theatrical run.
- Holiday was rediscovered and screened for the first time in 2005 by the Korean Film Archive, and became widely known to domestic and foreign audiences through the Lee Man-hee retrospective at the 2005 Pusan International Film Festival.
Director Bio : Lee Man-hee (1931-1975)
Director Lee Man-hee was born in Hawangsimni-dong Seoul, in 1931, the youngest of 8 children. He participated in the Korean War deciphering enemy codes and duringthe years between 1956 and 1961, he worked as an assistant director under the directors Ahn Jong-hwa, Park Gu and Kim Myeong-je. He made his directorial debut in 1961 with Kaleidoscope (Jumadeung) with the support of Kim Seung-ho, one of the most famous actors of the era. Afterward, he proved that he could make movies that were commercially successful with Call 112(112reul Dollyeora) (1962). He opened a new age of Korean noir and horror with Black Hair (Geomeun Meori) (1964) and The Devil's Stairway (Mauigyedan) (1964). He also opened up new possibilities in Korean art films with Full Autumn (Manchu) (1966)and continued on this stylistic path with Homebound (Gwiro) (1967) and Holiday (Hyuil). With the decline of the Korean movie industry in the 1970s, he received fewer and fewer opportunities to make movies and this coincided with a deterioration of his health and financial situation. He died of liver cirrhosis as he was finishing his film, A Road to Sampo (Sampoganeun gil) (1975).