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Ko - production in Busan
  • LEESONG Hee-il’s 3-Part Queer Series
  • by LEE Eun-sun  /  Nov 16, 2012
  • ▶ WHITE NIGHT
    Man Who Has to Leave & Man Who Has to Let Go
     


    ◆ Information
    Director
    LEESONG Hee-il | Casting WON Tae-hee, LEE Yi-kyung | Genre Queer Melo | Running time 75 min | Rated R | Release Nov. 15
     
    ◆ Synopsis
    Having left Korea two years ago with a painful memory, flight steward Won-gyu lives day by day until he meets a messenger named Tae-jun and spends a special night with him.
     
    This film has been making waves by being invited to several film festivals including, Jeonju International Film Festival, Korean Independent Film and Video Maker's Forum (Indie Forum), Vancouver International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. White Night's story about a night spent with a man who was assaulted by a group of homophobes and a man who has to see him go through it, was met with strong reactions from audiences.
     
    Won-gyu, a steward at a German airline meets a stranger named Tae-jun during his one night in Seoul. Their guards raised at first, they gradually begin to reveal their inner thoughts to one another. Having gotten the story from real incidents of sudden assaults made by groups of homophobes, White Night shows the tragic reality of the isolated sexual minorities and their hidden love. Meeting for a ‘sex date’, Won-gyu and Tae-jun are meant to be separated. To Tae-jun’s question “We were real right?” the film answers back with the cold view of Seoul’s dark night.
     
    A rookie to the film industry, actor LEE Yi-kyung was told that queer movies are not easy, and that it would be a difficult choice but he thought it would be a once in a life time experience and believes that through White Night he has gotten a picture that will never be erased.
     
    LEESONG Hee-il has commented that the ‘guard’ that’s been raised on White Night refers to homosexual communities and the suburbs. We are all in the same city but there exists an unseen border, one side filled with homosexuals and the other with heterosexuals. And on that border there sometimes occurs violence. That violence can make homosexual communities a hard place to live in or to find to draw a reason to live from. White Night asks questions about these borders and guards.
     
      
      
      
     
    ▶ SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER
    A Boy that Suddenly Came & A Man Who Wants to Avoid
     

    ◆ Information
    Director
    LEESONG Hee-il | Casting KIM Young-jae, HAN Joo-wan | Genre Queer Melo | Running Time 37 min | Rated R | Release Nov. 15
      
    ◆ Synopsis
    Sang-woo blindly draws near and Kyung-hoon, his teacher, keeps pushing him away. Can Kyung-hoon tolerate Sang-woo’s seduction, which persistently touches his hidden desire?
     
    Suddenly, Last Summer, a story about a boy who rushes recklessly and a teacher who is vacillated by it, got a good review from Indie Forum this year. “I am your teacher” (Kyung-hoon), “You kept staring at me” (Sang-woo) as shown from these lines, Kyung-hoon is trying hard to push him away but Sang-woo persistently draws near. The story is constructed through this cat-and-mouse game.
     
    Suddenly, Last Summer is a film about the cold social convention towards sexual minorities. Kyung-hoon tries to open his heart when on a cruise ship but closes it when it reaches the shore. The long distance that never seems to diminish, gets closer by the end of the movie. With a lovely ending that breaks from convention, Suddenly, Last Summer is the most commercial film from LEESONG Hee-il’s 3-part queer series. The fantastic view that Kyung-hoon looks upon on the cruise ship takes them to a beautiful place.
     
    Actor KIM Young-jae who had worked with LEESONG Hee-il in 2003 on a short film said “It’s a good feeling to have met director LEESONG Hee-il again after such a long time. This movie is not a light one but the shooting was a lot of fun.” And LEESONG Hee-il has commented on Suddenly, Last Summer that “Just like the heterosexual community, in the homosexual world, the love between a teacher and student is banned and it’s the counter argument toward ‘Teenager seduction theory’. It’s a question to the conventional view that adults seduce teenagers and give them an ill education. This film contains questions about the border between age and socialized relations.” 
      
      
      
     
     
    ▶ GOING SOUTH
    A Man Who Endlessly Checks & A Man Who Continues to Deny
     


    ◆ Information
    Director
    LEESONG Hee-il | Casting KIM Jae-heung, JEON Shin-hwan | Genre Queer Melo | Running time 45 min | Rated R | Release Nov. 15
      
    ◆ Synopsis
    Ki-tae hands Joon-young coffee mixed with a sleeping pill. He heads south with Joon-young sleeps. When Joon-young wakes up the secret that they have kept slowly reveals itself.
     
    Going South is a story about a man who kidnaps his former senior soldier who broke off contact after being discharged. It also views discrimination and prejudice against homosexuals in a critical view. The main characters Joon-young and Ki-tae met in the military but have broken up. Joon-young who was discharged earlier, adjusts to society by dating a girl and preparing for a job, but Ki-tae still has Joon-young on his mind. Eventually he gives Joon-young coffee with sleeping pills mixed in, and heads somewhere south with Joon-young sleeping next to him.
     
    Going South is the most passionate among LEESONG's 3-part queer series. He does not decorate the gay love with beautiful scenes. In a car that vibrates, in the woods where the wind shakes the trees, and in the mud before a dark tunnel, movement never lets the tension drop. Towards the end, the movie shows how powerful and desperate the love between men can be in a realistic way. The ending. where Joon-young exits the tunnel leaving behing a drunk Ki-tae dancing, is impressive. Combined with mysterious music, the scene leaves a strong impression.
     
    Acting for the first time in his life, KIM Jae-heung (Ki-tae) said “It was very nerve racking to act for the first time and it required a lot of effort” adding that “the director was very scary during filming.” LEESONG Hee-il introduced his film Going South by saying that “It’s about the border that separates homosexuals and heterosexuals. I don’t think that sexual identity can simply be divided into two. It’s not that it’s divided into trans-sexual or bi-sexual. Actually this division is also very opportunistic. Society tends to clamp down people’s desire but sexual identity is somewhat of an amorphous flow. This film throws that question to heterosexuals.”
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