Burning ★★★★★

I don’t think there are many scenes that I’ve seen in a cinema that have moved me quite as much as the twilight scene in Burning. Everything about it is complete perfection, the colour of the surroundings, the way the camera moves behind Hae-mi, like a spectactor watching in on a beautiful creature. We are immediately put into the shoes of both Jong-Su and Ben, blown away by an enigma of beauty and mystery.

Lee Chang Dong is a master at making something seem melancholic and slow paced but also incredibly tense, moving and memorable. Commenting on social class, wealth and race he builds an underlying sense of loneliness and the feeling of inadequacy; never truly being enough. The differing landscapes of the huge bustling city and the vast open landscapes of Jong su’s hometown put an instant divide between Ben and Jong su; automatically separating them and labelling them opposites. Outcasted, the bumbling Jong-Su spends his time a spectator to Ben and Hae-mi’s romance; an observer who is firmly pushed to the outside and into the background noise. A wealthy man, swooping in and stealing something out of the hands of a man poorer than him.

Honestly, Burning has blown my mind, and no matter how many scenarios I peace together to make sense of it, it never fully clicks. I love that all of this remains a mystery. I love that when I watch this again I will probably get something new from it entirely. And similarly to Hae Mi, Burning will just remain a beautiful enigma to me.

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