Chil-su and Man-su (Chil-su wa Man-su) (1988)|
Director : Park Kwang-Su
Production Company : Dong-A Exports Co., Ltd
Date of Rate : 1988-09-21
Date of Theatrical Release : 1988-11-16
Running Time : 108 min.
Genre : Society
Writer : Oh Jong-Wu
Opening Theater : Scala, Dong A Theater
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Choi In-Seok
Producer : Lee Wu-Seok
Director of PhotoGraphy : Yoo Young-Kil
Gaffer : Kim Dong-Ho
Music : Kim Su-Cheol
Art Director : Lee Myeong-Su
Editor : Kim Hyeon
Ahn Seong-Ki, Park Jung-Hun, Bae Jong-Ok
Chil-su (Park Joong-hoon), who is from the U.S. military base town of Dongducheon, has a talent for art. Anticipating an invitation from his sister to join her in the U.S., Chil-su quits his job in the art department of a movie theatre and becomes an assistant for Man-su (Ahn Sung-ki). Man-su, whose father is serving a lengthy prison term for violating the anti-Communist act, lives in the shadow of the "guilty-by-association"system. Chil-su is dealt a staggering blow when he is dumped by a college student named Ji-na (Bae Jong-ok) and even loses contact with his sister. Man-su, unable to find peace of mind, is similarly despondent. One night, after finishing work on a massive billboard, the two men decide to fool around on the rooftop of the advertisement tower. Intoxicated by a sense of freedom, they drink, sing, and dance the night away until a can of paint falls off the rooftop and creates a commotion on the ground. Chil-su and Man-su are mistaken for jumpers trying to commit suicide together, and the situation turns deadly serious when the police and the reporters flock to the scene. Pushed into a corner, Man-su ends up jumping into the world below, and Chil-su is hauled off by the police.
"Park Kwang-su's stellar directorial debut, which signaled the advent of Korean New Wave films"
Chil-su and Man-su was adapted for the big screen by director Park Kwang-su, a former assistant director for Lee Jang-ho, from the long-running stage hit of the same title. It signaled the beginning of Korean New Wave cinema, and featured delectable performances from the Ahn Sung-ki/Park Joong-hoon duo, who appeared together in numerous subsequent films. At the time Chil-su and Man-su was made, there was a new Korean president in office and democratization seemed finally to have begun, but the shadows of national division and foreign intervention were still darkening the skies. In this troubled atmosphere, Park Kwang-su's film used the genre of black comedy to expose and satirize the contradictions of Korean society, and heighten the tragedy of his two protagonists. Park explains that Man-su is the casualty of a sense of victimization by Communists, while Chil-su is an amalgam of the consumer-society-driven individual that emerged during Korea's fifth republic and the victim of foreign influence born of rapid Westernization. These two alienated characters struggle to hold onto their hopes and dreams. But in the end, they are unable to incorporate themselves properly into society. They yell obscenities at the world, which seems to be going on its merry way without them, and cries out as they jump into its midst, "Shit, let's just jump! What's the worst that could happen? A broken leg?"However, the freeze frame shots of Man-su in mid-jump and Chil-su being taken away by the police imprint in the minds of the audience the tragic reality of Korean society, where problems are neither solved nor aired out.
The character of Man-su is said to have been modeled after the director himself, who also harbored deep cynicism and a sense of victimization, as well as after singer Kim Min-ki, whose father was serving a long prison sentence. At the time, portraying the details of Man-su's father's incarceration was not permitted.
Director Bio: Park Kwang-su (1955- )
Director Park Kwang-su explored such deeply rooted social issues as the division of the two Koreas, ideologies, the workingman, and poverty. His works which unflinchingly reflected the social reality of the times, were also known for their picturesque mise en scene and detailed cinematic flow. He was a member of Yalrasyeong, the Film Maker's Club at Seoul National University, as well as a member of the film movement which was based on socialist realism. After returning from study abroad in France, he worked as an assistant to director Lee Jang-ho and made his directorial debut with the 1988 film, Chil-su and Man-su (Chil-su wa Man-su). Afterward, he made movies such as Black Republic (Guedeuldo ulicheoleom) (1990), Berlin Report (Beleullin(Berlin) lipoteu(report)) (1991), To the Starry Island (Geu seom-e gago sipda) (1993), and A Single Spark (Aleumda-un cheongnyeon Jeon Taeil) (1995), which dealt with such themes as class conflict, the guilt-by-association system, the division of the two Koreas, the labor movement, and intellectualism - making him one of the premiere directors of the Korean New Wave. In 1993, he founded a film studio with the purpose of making independent films that were completely free from the demands of commercialism. He invested 3.5 million dollars to make a movie - The Uprising (I Jaesu-ui nan) (1999) - about I Jae-su, the man who led the Peasant Rebellion of 1901 in Jeju-do. A French-Korean collaboration, the movie showed his unwillingness to follow the cinematic trends of his time. Beginning in 1996, he sat on the board of the Busan International Film Festival as co-chairman for 3 years. And from 1998 on, he has been a tenured professor at the Visual Arts Department of the Korean National University of Arts.