Series of shorts presented with playfulnessThe future of Korean cinema lies in short films, according to 12 star directors of the mainstream movie scene. The directors, including Park Chan-wook of “Old Boy,” get together every year to organize the Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival.
The third annual Mise-en-scene had its opening ceremony yesterday at Arirang Cine Center in Donam-dong, northeastern Seoul, and runs through Monday. The festival presents 57 films from new directors, 16 of them with English subtitles.
Short films have a reputation as being avant-garde and experimental, often shunned by the average moviegoer. This year’s Mise-en-scene festival, however, is trying to break the stereotype.
Themed “Short Films Meet Joy,” this international festival presents shorts that are fun and friendly, as well as experimental. The high-profile directors will also be judging the films, divided into categories such as social drama, melodrama, comedy, action and horror.
Judge-turned-directors include Mr. Park, Lee Jae-yong of “Untold Scandal,” Kim Ji-woon of “A Tale of Two Sisters” and Hur Jin-ho of “One Fine Spring Day.” The directors’ recent shorts will also be screened in a separate section.
The festival also gives mainstream directors a chance to discover talented new staff, just like Kim Ji-woon found his cinematographer for his “A Tale of Two Sisters” at last year’s Mise-en-scene.
English-subtitled films include “5 Minutes” by Na Hong-jin, about people who can foresee the future five minutes ahead, after sitting on a strange sofa. “A Crimson Mark,” by Park Hyun-jin, features stories of star-crossed lovers set in the Joseon Dynasty.
Won Shin-yun offers serious social commentary in “Bread and Milk,” about a blue-collar worker who attempts suicide after getting a pink slip. “Cass Veloce” (Fast Cash) from Italy, directed by Francesco Falaschi, is about a man trying to win back the heart of his girlfriend, who works as an “express lane” cashier at a supermarket.
Starting this year, Mise-en-scene is participating in an exchange program with Tokyo’s Short Shorts Film Festival. Films from the Japanese festival will be screened in October.
by Chun Su-jin
Arirang Cine Center is best reached from Donam (Sungshin Women’s University) Station on line No. 4. Take exit 7 and you’ll find a shuttle bus to the venue. Tickets cost 3,000 won ($2.60) for each section. A midnight showing on Saturday is 7,000 won. Tickets are available at www.ticketlink.co.kr. For more information, call (02) 927-5696 or visit the Web site at www.mjsen.co.kr.