Friday, April 3, 2009

Hansel & Gretel (Korean-style)

We got out of class early today so I thought I would treat myself to an afternoon of movies. I wasn't sure what to watch but was intrigued by the poster for Lim Pil-seong's interpretation of Hansel & Gretel. (Coincidentally, I have a small collection of H&G vintage books and also love the story.)

Wow, what an amazing film! The aesthetic was very much Amelie meets Pan's Labyrinth mixed in with the Exorcist (and maybe, Poltergeist). The color palette, sound design and cinematography were absolutely rich. I fell in love with the production design which was incredible and all I could think about was how exciting it must have been to be part of it all. Ryu Seong-hee (of Old Boy, Bittersweet Life, The Host and Memories of Murder fame) was in charge of set design.

In a nutshell, the story is about a young man who gets into a car accident, stumbles into the dense woods in his groggy haze and collapses. A young girl discovers him and leads him to her mysterious house deep in the forest where he's greeted by her family. From there, the story unfolds. As with the original fairy tale, the story is grim but the film takes it several steps further as it crosses boundaries which are often unexpected.

It was a pleasant surprise for me and the two other movie-goers in the theatre, who also really enjoyed it (we debriefed after the movie - lovely strangers). Sadly, I don't think it'll last very long in the theatre but if you get the chance, I do recommend it. Here's the trailer (in Korean):

[I also went to see I Love You, Man which happened to be starting the minute I stepped out of H&G. Okay, so maybe I snuck in but anyway, I won't lie - it made me lol, as they say. I could have stayed in the theatre all day and night watching movies. Tonight, J has a horror for us to see after we put the little one to bed.]

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