Family issues and romance dominate new releases

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Family issues and romance dominate new releases

“Korean Short Film Animation Collection Vol. 2”
101 minutes
Directed by Jeong Seung-hee,
Oh Jin-hee, Kim Jeong-ho

This collection is the second in a series that puts together ten short Korean animations that have won international awards since 2001. Included are “I Need Daddy” which won the Hiroshima Award at the Hiroshima Animation Festival. It’s about a family made up of a novelist father who is a wolf and a girl. The father can’t decide whether to focus on producing a novel or rearing his daughter; “Jungle” delves into various episodes that happen to a young man in one day. Another film deals with a story of a lonely child and a widow. The collection includes interviews with the directors.

“You’re the Heart of the Universe”
95 minutes
Directed by Jeon Yun-su Jeong-ho
Starring Cha Tae-hyun, Song Hye-gyo

This film, which stars two young Korean heartthrobs, Song Hye-gyo and Cha Tae-hyeon, is based on a popular Japanese novel “Crying Out Love in the Center of the World” which was also released in Japan. The Korean film doesn’t make a dramatic departure from the Japanese original. It is centered on the memoir of a young man who endures a tragic romance during which his girlfriend dies of an incurable disease. At the very least, the film is good eye candy for fans of the two young Korean actors. It includes a photo book, cast interviews, postcards featuring photo stills and a commentary by the director and two actors.

“Don’t Look Back”
126 minutes
Directed by Kim Young-nam
Starring Kim Tae-woo, Kim Hye-na

“Don’t Look Back” is a coming-of-age film that deals with three wondering souls who find themselves in perplexing situations. The film, a debut feature by Kim Young-nam, stars Kim Hye-na, who plays Jeong-hee, a theater student who experiences a sudden visit from her father, who had previously abandoned his family; Geun-woo, who makes money by recording illegally wiretapped phone conversations and In-ho (Kim Tae-woo) a soldier who finds out that her wife has been having an affair with another man while he was in the military. As a special feature, the film includes a commentary by the director and three actors in which all four answer questions, supplements that show alternative endings of the film and a documentary about the way the films was made.
As an independent film, the film drew attention by attracting large audiences in theaters and by earning a Critic’s Award at the Locarno International Film Festival.

by Park Soo-mee
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