Close Up

10 November 2018: First Love


First Love
Lee Myung-se
1993 | 108 min | 35mm
Korean with English subtitles
Followed by a Q&A with the director

“Yeong-shin is an innocent young woman from a nice family living in a pleasant if fairly poor neighbourhood in a town somewhere far from the big city. When her am-dram club decides to invite a writer from Seoul to come direct their production of Our Town, Yeong-shin, despite an unpromising first encounter with a grubby, hard-drinking Chang-wook, manages to fall head over heels. The film plays with our melodramatic reflexes, involving us in a sentimental education made all the more bittersweet through nuanced acting of Kim Hye-su. Rather than offering melo-realism, however, the film revels in the sheer beauty of its sets, subtle lighting, fantasy scenes – Yeong-shin’s ghostly visit to Chang-wook is both funny and heart-warming. Our Town has been termed a form of meta-theatre. Maybe we could consider Lee Myung-se’s aesthetic a kind of meta-cinema.” – Mark Morris

Part of LKFF 2018