Burning

Burning

DVD - 2018 | Korean
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A searing romantic thriller about a young man whose suspicions spin out of control when the free-spirited woman he loves disappears.
Publisher: [Plano, TX] :, Well Go Usa,, 2018
Branch Call Number: BUR
Characteristics: 1 DVD (148 min.) : sound, color ; 12 cm
Alternative Title: Beoning [dvd]

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voisjoe1_0
Mar 23, 2019

A very fine story of jealousy, lies, classism. A young man who wishes he could become a writer of novels, finds himself in one better than he could write. Maybe it's true that the bigger the lie, the more some will believe you. Perhaps this is the kind of film Hitchcock would have made if he had not been controlled so much by Hollywood formulation.

n
Nursebob
Mar 23, 2019

After a chance encounter on a busy street reunites them, fledgling author Jongsu and his childhood friend Haemi have a lukewarm one-night stand. But when Haemi returns from a trip to Africa with new boyfriend Ben in tow a smouldering jealousy takes hold, for the handsome, wealthy Ben is everything the plain, dumpy Jongsu only wishes he could be. However, a freaky confession and bizarre turn of events soon have Jongsu convinced that something sinister is lurking behind Ben’s affable smile… Social commentary on Korea’s nouveau riche takes a backseat in Chang-dong Lee’s slow-burning psychodrama which borrows a few cues from Hitchcock as it casually applies the thumbscrews right up until that final incendiary climax. But the director adds a few twists of his own to this tale of a writer determined to solve a mystery when he can’t even keep his own characters and storylines straight. Look for a couple of wry cameos from Donald Trump and Schrödinger’s cat.

k
kyc14
Mar 06, 2019

it is refreshing to see this 2018 korean film by chang-dong lee, who explores minimalism in film-making that few directors dared in recent years. the film has sparse & brief dialogs, calculated & scanty scenes & plots, subdued & background-like music, & silent visual clues (instead of loud explanatory hints) to tell a story of ever deepening mystery & mystique. the audience has to feel/sense from what lee has skillfully & objectively presented (like a legal disposition) in order to arrive at its own conclusion (if any, assuming it's a logical expectation after watching a movie).
lee deliberately creates a film that involves what might be real, semi-real or pure imagination. he quietly brings up the story's social/political context, as real as today or yesterday's events (or is it figuratively unreal [unbelievable] ?). these include mentioning of the nearby north korea border (historical, seemingly never ending conflict), tv interview on unemployment of korean youths (happening now in flourishing south korea economy?), & tv news commentary on president trump (oddball & least democratic president in the world's leading democratic country?).
lee depicts 3 incredible characters whom some might describe as unreal (figurative) in today's world. if i may use my own words, the 1st lead male character (J-S) is a dull-looking, clueless & shy loner who lacks ambition (wanting to be a writer might be his excuse). the main female character (H-M) is a modern day hippie (w/o the classic costume or demeanor) who is care-free, spiritually-minded & openly as imaginative as mime. the 2nd male dude (B) is a handsome & rich young playboy. all 3 dont hold any real tangible job & not bothered by it.
the film gradually reveals several developing mysteries related to each of the 3 characters, but withholding explanation of what & why. basically the audience is led to believe that J-S is obsessed w/ H-M, jealous of B, & finally succumb to the apparently unexplained vanish of H-M. in the end J-S is so pressurized w/ frustration & illusion/delusion that he acts out a fatal solution (analogous to his dad's "bottled up in his own anger & one day exploded like a bomb"?). the unexpected ending is dramatic & contrary to the film's somewhat gently, poetic & having-a-good-time atmosphere. but are all these really (figuratively) real (factual), semi-real (subjectively) or mime-like imagination? in this film does lee actually create a mime game or delusional dream to the audience?
remember michaelangelo antonioni's "blow-up" (1966)? its social context is pop music, drugs, & fashion models in the swinging london (no politics here). its story is about a successful photog (not jobless) stumbled upon a mysterious dead body in a park, who then is obsessed w/ seeking the truth using his photo skills. antonioni ignites as much mystery & uncertainty between real & unreal as in "burning". but its ending has no conclusion/interpretation necessary, just play along w/ a tennis game using an imagined ball (mime again?). to me, "blow-up" depicts the inquisitive mind of an image-dominant professional in a surrounding of debatable reality (aka make-believe: factual or figurative, camera or pop scene). "burning" shows the clueless & skewed mind of a loner that has gone delusional in his surrounding of random yet persuasive non-reality (socially or personally). dont u think antonioni (italian) prefers a zen-like ending, lee (korean) a shakespearean ending? really? what's the odd of that? :)

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