KIM Tae-yong's <Late Autumn>, a remake if LEE Man-hee's same titled film from 1966, is based on the original's story of a woman released from prison for one day meets a guy in a strange place and starts opening her heart. But KIM changed the scenery by shooting in Seattle, USA where Chinese woman Anna(played by TANG Wei) and a Korean guy(played by HYUN Bin). KIM rather uses term of 'Asian Cinema' to define the film's identity, neither Korean nor Chinese.
When the news of casting TANG Wei for <Late Autumn>, I believe many people expected to see her image from <Lust, Caution>(2007). It turns out she's quite different in the film, from what she showed in her previous film.
If I wanted to deal with more dramatic emotions and to capture them in sort of heated love scenes, I would definitely go for another actress. Of course, TANG became a star with strong female sexuality after <Lust, Caution>. However, I would like to bring an image of woman who cannot express inner side through her body and TANG could be great for the role, as somehow I wonder what she would look after <Lust, Caution>, although my film is not the sequel of the film, of course. If I want Anna to show her emotions through her bodily actions, I would not cast TANG for the role. I did because I described the role in opposite.
Just before the release of the film, TV show that HYUN starred made a huge hit and attracted female audience expecially. Do you think it would help for the film?
Funny to see HYUN's image in the film, a trashy-looking guy, is quite opposite to one that he had in the TV show, which is a rich CEO. I am not sure the show's success would help the film's performance at theatres, but it is no doubt that the show's success made him bigger.
Speaking of interracial couple in <Late Autumn> and alternative family making in <Family Ties>, you seem to be interested in 'co-existence of people from differences.' In <Late Autumn>, you again explore two strangers' efforts in opening minds to each other.
I have to say that I am attracted to the topic. I think we are attracted to other not because they are totally same with me or vice versa, but there must be something very subtle and delicate moment when a person is connected to the other. For me, this inexplicable nature of human connection is always a big mystery.
Is it relevant with your idea of Asian cinema? It sounds like a bigger range of your ideas and concepts for filmmaking, not a mere notion of region.
There has been a sort of fascination or curiosity toward American and European culture in Korean cultural scenes and it is still strong. It somehow makes us look ourselves through other culture. When I think of Asian cinema, it gives me a kind of sense of belonging, or expanding self. During shooting <Late Autumn>, it never occurred to me that <Late Autumn> could be American production because I worked with US crews. Rather, I hope the film look an Asian cinema, although it is shot in US.