Tearing through movies like there's no tomorrow.
A well-made melodrama about a doctor who sets up practice in a secluded seaside community. And though her gender and youthfulness present barriers to her perceived competency, she stands her ground, and despite initial mistrust, gradually she wins the locals over.
From the outset, she’s supported by a kind but lonely school mam – and a moody, aloof construction engineer, who becomes her significant other. However, a young, female professional and an alpha-male lover do not necessarily a harmonious relationship…
A collection of supernatural stories produced to a sufficiently high standard that doesn’t outstay its welcome, mainly because of the brevity of the instalments. There’s rarely much in the way of a climax. Rather, it’s more about creating a specific tone. And they’re not all scary. In fact, one of my favourites is a rather sad tale that ends happily. Of the outright creepy chapters, the one about a spectre in a toilet cubicle is pretty effective.
Sympathy for Mr Bonehead
In which Taeko (Michiyo Kogure) both scandalises and amuses a couple of her female friends and niece regarding her husband, whom she refers to as “Mr Bonehead” and compares to a dim-witted carp. And it has to be said, it’s pretty funny stuff. But then we get to spend some time with ‘Mr Bonehead’ – or Mokichi (Shin Saburi), to give him his actual name – and we realise that he’s a decent chap. It’s just…
Even the conspicuous dubbing of Lee Young-ae’s English dialogue (and the stilted performances of two European actors) can’t dampen the power of this deeply humanistic story about a geographical, political, ideological and cultural nexus point, where North and South Korea meet. And at the heart of this particular zone are people, not monoliths, a point which Park Chan-wook, elegantly sums up with a single photograph – a picture that is genuinely worth a thousand words.