Sunday, July 12, 2009

This Charming Girl 여자, 정혜 (2004)

This Charming Girl - Very charming indeed. Where did they find her? This is another reason why that little country below China (no, the one even below the so-called oriental, totalitarian nightmare) is on top now as far as cinema goes. The reviews were glowing for this one, and seeing as how those reviewers were the competent ones, I believed them and was rewarded. This was very impressive, even more so because it was an original script. It has the depth that is usually found in literature, and as this quality so rare to find in film, I hope it continues, as the cinema so obviously has the potential to supersede any literary achievement. The charming girl we follow is a humble office worker, and in a format so compelling, reminding me of Soseki's novels, her character is slowly peeled away as we watch her go through the quotidian routine. This obsession with domesticity, hence the abundant feminine presence, is what is so fascinating about East Asian fiction. They aren't the Ancient Greeks. Their artists have always been concerned with the home. After all, that is the foundation of society. A more stable existence is possible if public life were more grounded around the home. But... Lee Yoon-ki somehow gave us one of those gems. A little masterwork (not piece) that seemed to come out of nowhere. The verisimilitude is leaps and bounds above what is found normally. I would even argue that maybe it's a little bit too real, but this is necessary. He's pointing future filmmakers in a new direction. *9 out of 10

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