Im Kwon-taek talks about his 102nd movie

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Im Kwon-taek talks about his 102nd movie

BUSAN - One of the biggest news items from the Busan International Film Festival this year concerned veteran filmmaker Im Kwon-taek, who announced his next movie would be an adaptation of the 2004 Yi Sang Literary Award-winning novel “Hwajang” (an ambiguous title, meaning both “makeup” and “cremation” in Korean).

The news is monumental, not only because it will be the 77-year-old director’s 102nd movie, but because of Im’s collaborators: novelist Kim Hoon and veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki.

The story depicts a middle-aged man’s inner turmoil as he explores his feelings for two women: his deceased wife and a younger colleague whom he had lusted for.

Im said that he was excited at being asked to direct Kim’s short story.

“Normally I used to wait and read all of Kim Hoon’s works,” explained the director, who added he was disappointed that he wasn’t able to produce a movie based on Kim’s previous work, “Song of the Sword.”

But now that he has a chance to work with Kim, Im said he’d do his best.

“There is power in Kim’s words; I want to depict that in a movie,” he said. “Compared to the other movies of mine, I think this will be a completely different thing.”

Ahn, who is regarded as one of Korea’s finest actors, said that he was both excited and nervous about taking on such an ambitious project.

“As you live life, there are aspects you want to hide and live out in secret,” Ahn said of the role. “If I fail, I will be harshly criticized, but I’m still going to give it my best.”

The film also marks Im and Ahn’s seventh collaboration. Despite the heavy topic, the 65-year-old Kim said he has faith in his director and actor.

“I’m not worried. It will be turned into a great movie,” Kim said.


BY CARLA SUNWOO [carlasunwoo@joongang.co.kr]

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