Estimated reading & viewing time: 5 minutes.
Now, the most important thing to take away from this post is to appreciate what good taste I have. For *I* decided I liked this film, and booked a ticket, weeks before it became cool.
Next most important is the secret of how I learned of it: by subscribing to the YouTube channel 문다무비. Focusing on trailers of arthouse films with limited runs, and/or of repeat screenings of popular movies, if you live in Korea then it’s an absolute must.* How else, after all, can you persuade your dates that you’re smart and sophisticated? Other than by showing them selfies of you in empty theaters that is?
Unfortunately for my otherwise carefully-crafted persona, I
am an alcoholic, so was much too busy to post about the film while it was still under most people’s radar. Fortunately for you though, it’s only just been released, so there’s still a week or so to see it. Also, in addition to glowing reviews by overseas critics, as well as a surprising amount of coverage in the Korean media, there’s Jia H. Jung’s Korea Times interview of Korean French adoptee Laure Badufle, co-writer and inspiration and inspiration for the film, which will do a much better job of persuading you to watch the film than I ever could have.
Especially when I haven’t actually mentioned the trifling detail of what the film is actually about yet:
Again unfortunately for my persona, I can’t hide how giddy with excitement I am to learn that Laure Badufle was born in the small town of Sacheon in South Gyeongsang Province before she was adopted, where I taught from 2001-2003; that will likely feature in the film, while neighboring Jinju, where I lived, definitely will. Also, because of the mixture of English, French, and Korean used, I’m relieved to see that Korean subtitles will be used, which will frankly make watching it much easier for me (I don’t know of anywhere with English subtitles sorry).
Yet despite all the recent attention, there’s still only 6 CGVs screening the film in Seoul, only 1 in Busan, and, ironically, none at all in Jinju. My fellow sophisticated Busanites at least though, will appreciate the perks that come with their fine tastes—in the form of an exclusive 44-person theater, with luxury armchairs!
*Update: I’ve just discovered artninecinema/아트나인 (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), which is even more focused on arthouse films, and also hosts various related events. Unfortunately most for Return to Seoul are already over, but on Tuesday the 16th there’s a screening with critic Jeong Seong-il in Seoul.
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- If You Understand Korean, Please Don’t Miss Out: “After Me Too” (애프터 미투, 2021) is Screening October 6-9!
- Movie Review: Our Body/아워 바디 (2019)
- I’m Ready to Pay for Korean Feminist Films!
- Watching the Sunset of my 20th Year in Korea
If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)