[ENTERTAINMENT]9 Lives? 'Cat' Lovers Want Just 2

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[ENTERTAINMENT]9 Lives? 'Cat' Lovers Want Just 2

The director Jeong Jae-eun's first major movie, "Take Care of My Cat," opened mid-October. Critics praised it as a feminist film with strong roles for females.

The star power included the model and actress Bae Doo-na and the actress Lee Yo-won as ordinary women. Jeong was considered an up-and-coming woman director for her strong characterization and insight into the human character.

Two weeks later, the public reaction to the movie was tepid at best. Since the opening, only 35,000 tickets have been sold. Within 20 days, theaters pulled "Take Care of My Cat," due to lackluster ticket sales.

In Incheon, where most of the movie was filmed, women - and men - have gathered in force to revive an interest in "Take Care of My Cat."

More that 80 percent of the movie was filmed in 28 areas in and around Incheon, including Wolmi Island, East Incheon, Chinatown and the airport.

Choi Won-suk, a Korean literature professor at In Ha University, and Song Jung-sup, the vice chairman of the Folk Arts Association of Incheon, were among the cultural figures that led a gathering at the Incheon Center of Art at the end of October.

The mayor of Incheon, Choi Gi-seon; the director Jeong; the actress,Bae; the education commisioner, Na Gun-hyeong and the actor Choi Bul-am also attended the meeting.

The director chose Incheon because she found the flux of a port city appropriate to the unease and insecurity of young people. "Incheon was the best possible location in every way," she said.

The center invited 1,500 people to a free trial screening. The goal of the coalition is to bring in 100,000 more viewers, and to gather petitions so that theaters will reinstate the movie.

"Take Care of My Cat" follows five 20-something women as they venture into the real world after graduating from high school. These friends have "more to talk about than just sex."

The director chose to symbolize women with cats, an animal she likes, because cats are flexible, independent, and have high standards.

"If a cat doesn't like its owner, it leaves," she said.

Prior to "Take Care of My Cat," Jeong did a short film about 17-year-olds. She was unsatisfied with the way women were portrayed by male directors, and chose to create real characters. For her next movie, she is thinking about portraying in-line skaters.

A representative of Masulpiri, the production company behind "Take Care of My Cat," was encouraged by the support of the residents of Incheon. "I see that this movie is not a mainstream box-office type of film," Oh Gi-min said.

Will these people be able to save this movie? We'll have to wait until next month to find out. The production company is considering a new campaign and rereleasing the movie in December.

by Seong Tae-won

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