An Old Potter (Dok jinneun neulgeuni) (1969)|
Director : Choi Ha-Won
Production Company : Dong Yang Films Co., Ltd
Date of Rate : 1969-03-04
Running Time : 95 min.
Opening : Theater Kukje Theater
Genre : Literary Art
Writer : Hwang Sun-Won
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Shin Bong-Seung
Producer : Lee Jong-Byeok
Executive Producer : Kim Seung-Eob
Director of PhotoGraphy : Yoo Young-Kil
Gaffer : Park Eung-Seon
Music : Choi Chang-Kwon
Art Director : Kim Ho-Kyun
Editor : Kim Hee-Su
Hwang Hae, Yoon Jung-Hee, NamGung Won, Kim Hee-Ra, Heo Jang-Kang
Old Song (Hwang Hae) has been living a lonely life as a potter. One day, he saves the life of a young woman named Ok-su (Yoon Jung-hee), whom he finds lying at the brink of death in a snow field. Song and Ok-su wed and have a son named Dang-son (Kim Jeong-hun). On the day Dang-son turns seven, Ok-su's old boyfriend Seok-hyeon (Nam Koong-won) appears before her. Seok-hyeon, who has been searching everywhere for his lost love, becomes Song's apprentice in order to remain at her side. Ok-su asks Seok-hyeon to leave, but, unable to suppress her desire for him, ends up running away with him in the night. Song continues to bake pottery in order to support himself and his son, but all the pots break apart in the kiln. He gives up his son for adoption to a wealthy couple, and climbs into the kiln to die in flames. As an adult, Dang-son (Kim Hee-ra) hears this sad tale from his father's friend (Heo Jang-kang) and weeps. The moment he utters that he would like to see his mother if only once, Ok-su, who has been living there as a beggar in penance for her betrayal, appears like a miracle in front of Dang-son's eyes.
"One of the few literary films that expresses a Korean subject in the most distinctively Korean way, using images and colors filled with local flair" (Lee Seung-hoon)
Based on a short story by Hwang Soon-won, An Old Potter is numbered among the most important literary films in Korea. It tells the story of a potter named Song, whose loneliness and despair following the departure of his wife and his son drive him to put an end to his own life by climbing into the pottery kiln. This broad synopsis does not depart significantly from the original, but director Choi Ha-won incorporated his own interpretation of the short story in adapting it into a feature film. That is, unlike Hwang Soon-won's tale, the film version takes the problem of sexuality as an important theme. Until Ok-su's flight, the first half of the movie focuses on the psychological conflict caused by the love, jealousy, and desire of Song and Seok-hyeon toward the young Ok-su. What is particularly interesting is Ok-su's sexual desire. At first, Ok-su remains a mere object of desire for Song. But with the advent of Seok-hyeon, she awakens to her own sexual desire and leaves her husband for her young lover. Of course, her choice, made in the pursuit of her own desire, is morally chastised through Song's gaze. After Ok-su flees under cover of night, Song's life begins to fall apart. His pots burst inside the kiln, and his young son is adopted by another family. Song is plunged into a swamp of misfortune "because of Ok-su," and ultimately chooses death. The latter half of the movie, which recounts this process, actually takes on the character of male melodrama a quality that is enhanced by the frequent use of exaggerated music and tears to drive up the emotional pitch. An Old Potter is also one of 1960s action star Hwang Hae's most important films, and showcases his seasoned and passionate performance.
Director Bio: Choi Ha-won (1937- )
Birth name Choi Seung-yong. Born in 1937. He is a director whose superb talent shone brightest in the "literature movies" that were the trend in the 1960s. After graduating from Yonsei University with a major in Korean Language & Literature, he made his directorial debut in 1968 with an adaptation of Hwang Sun-won's novel, Trees Stand on Slope (Namudeul Bitare Seoda). His most famous films are An Old Potter (Dok Jinneun Neulgeuni) and A Shaman's Story (Munyeodo) (1972), both adaptations of novels.