One of Korea’s top three film festivals, the Jeonju International Film Festival [JIFF] is set to open this year on April 25. JIFF is considered to be the event which celebrates experimental cinema from both Korea and overseas.
One flagship program at JIFF is their “Short! Short! Short” project in which three directors are invited to make a short film. To mark the opening of this year’s JIFF, TenAsia English interviewed the three teams involved in this year’s very exciting project.
Q: What is the story in the film, and what character do you play?
Han: The story is about a young man whose age is unknown. He lives in a motel with his girlfriend. They both make a living out of mugging other people.
Cho: It’s about a boy and a call girl who are very lost.
Han: They are both mentally immature. Long story short the film centers on Woo-hyun seeking his mother. Woo-hyun gives his girlfriend the nickname “Exit.” He is obsessed with her genitals. Also, she shows a motherly side. He may appear like a delinquent but he yearns for protection.
Q: Yoon-hee, what do you think?
Cho: I agree with what he just said. There are scenes when Exit embraces Woo-hyun and Exit also find shelter under him.
Q: We heard that director Lee Sang-woo requested his actors to reflect their own experiences in the film. How did you feel about that?
Han: Our director didn’t give any directions. Our director asked us to be comfortable with ourselves. Although I never did anything immoral, I saw a lot of similarities in Woo-hyun and me. That is the reason why I wanted to do this film.
Q: Joo-wan, you were famous on the set for improvising on the spot. Do you act on instinct?
Han: In acting class, we were familiarized with classics. We had a curriculum teaching us the setting, gender, and habit of a character in details. I follow the curriculum when I study my given character. However, while shooting “Last Summer” and “Exit”, I wasn’t given enough time to deeply look into the character and the script. So, I had no choice but to go along with my senses. I do want to take time to get to know the character and so on. Fortunately, our director appreciated my effort.
Q: Yoon-hee, do you think your twenties were well-depicted in the film?
Cho: Our director told me that the character resembled my real personality. Not that I wondered around and took life lightly like the character. I did study hard at school. But, she has a temper and I have a temper. I, too, like things to be certain. So, in that respect, I see a lot of me in her.
Q: Director Lee Sang-woo’s films are known for being sexual. So, the connection being you two had to be flawless. How was the shooting?
Cho: I am still new as an actress so I depended a lot on our director and Joo-wan. I’m still learning and this film was a big lesson for me. The film was able to turn out well because everyone taught me well.
Han: I am thankful for Yoon-hee. When it comes to shooting, the difficult part is getting along with the actress. The mood of the actress is difficult to anticipate and if the actress is moody, acting with her is rough. But, Yoon-hee didn’t have any of that. She was the one making sure I was comfortable. She positively influenced me during the shooting.
Cho: I hope the synergy between us shows through in the final film version.
Reporter: Lee Hye-ji, Photographer: Chae Ki-won, Editor: Nemo Kim