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BTS doc brings fans behind the scenes: ‘Burn the Stage’ shows the group strive to do their best as they tour the world

Nov 16,2018
“Burn the Stage: The Movie” hit theaters this week. The documentary features interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from the “2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour.” [BIG HIT ENTERTAINMENT]
It’s quite rare that a local documentary surpasses a Hollywood movie in ticket reservations. It’s even rarer to see a documentary about a K-pop group taking up screens at multiplexes across Korea. But boy band BTS has gotten used to going into uncharted territory and making new rules. On Thursday, the group made their debut on the silver screen with their documentary film “Burn the Stage: The Movie,” released in Korea as well as 40 other countries and regions around the world.

As of Sunday, more than 100,000 tickets for “Burn the Stage: The Movie,” were reserved in advance, with the movie representing 26.8 percent of the total advance sale of film tickets - surpassing the reservations for the highly-anticipated Hollywood film “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (20.4 percent) - according to the Korean Film Council.

“As soon as I watched the trailer, I just knew that it would be a great movie,” said Nur Fatin Yusrina Binti Yassin, a fan from Malaysia. “All of Malaysian ARMY is really proud of BTS.”

Proving the hype, only a few seats remained for a 10 a.m. screening of the movie at CGV Yongsan I-Park Mall, the theater chain’s flagship location in central Seoul, on the day of its release, when the Korea JoongAng Daily made a reservation on Nov. 9.

The theater was crowded with BTS fans; people were taking photos in front of the movie poster and buying up BT21 (the series of characters the group make in collaboration with Line Friends) goods.

The documentary, directed by Park Jun-soo and produced by the group’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment, and Camp Entertainment, is an extension of a YouTube series that goes by the same name, featuring interviews with the group and a behind-the-scenes look at “2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour.”

The movie is a tribute to BTS fans, taking them along the tour, starting from Seoul and making stops in Chile, Brazil, the United States, Thailand, Australia, China, Taiwan and Japan. The members make it clear that in the end, none of these concerts would have taken place without the support from ARMY.

Included in the movie are scenes of the members practicing on stage, exercising and producing music in their hotel rooms, eating chicken and ramen on the hotel floor while member Suga enjoys a glass of wine, having a barbecue party and making jokes with each other, showing the band is still a group of boys in their 20s.

Throughout the film, the members admit that they are not perfect - on stage, they are successful K-pop stars, but behind the scenes, they are covered in sweat and bruises, and have to deal with the huge burden of performing better next time. One of their hardest moments is when their performance does not turn out to be how they wanted. But, they “keep on moving, for a future they have always dreamt of.”

“I wish they could let go of some of their responsibilities and burden, and just enjoy their moments with the fans,” said Shin Kyung-ae, who has been a BTS fan for a year, after watching the movie.

“One of the most touching scenes from the movie was when Jimin was lying down on the floor, exhausted after performing,” said Lee Joo-eun, a BTS fan since 2015. “But I know that he is more than perfect. I cried when I saw him suffer and care so much about each detail of his choreography.”

According to Leo Seria, a fan from the Phillippines, the group’s success comes from their strong collaboration as a group.

“They work as a group, as friends, as [one] family,” he said. “Every performance they [did,] they dedicated it to ARMY. I will always support them no matter what happens.”

By the end of the movie, BTS fans at the theater were sad and overjoyed at the same time, proud about the group’s hard work. One fan was already anticipating the next movie, if there will be one, which she hoped to feature their 2018 “Love Yourself” world tour.

“There were a lot of things that I haven’t been aware of concerning the members,” said Koo Won-jae, a student who has been in love with BTS for almost five years, after watching the movie.

“I also realized how much support we (the fans) have been giving them until now. I could’ve paid more to watch this movie - that’s how great it was.”

BY YEO YE-RIM [yeo.yerim@joongang.co.kr]







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