|Lot 47 Films | Release Date: December 29, 2000||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
It's sweeping yet intimate, stately yet impassioned, stylized yet immediate.
A spectacular, engrossing, big-hearted film based on one of Korea's great national epics and made by that country's top filmmaker.
As magical as "The Wizard of Oz," the film leaves its spare setting and blooms into action in a colorful springtime world to tell the story of an epic romance lush with silken costumes, giggling courtesans, comic servants and rulers cruel and compassionate.
Proudly wears its heart on its sleeve, but it never becomes so swoony that you'll reach for your hanky.
The Korean director im Kwon-Taek has made more than 90 films since his first in 1962, and perhaps this explains why his latest, Chunhyang, seems so effortless and masterly. Based on a highly popular eighteenth-century Korean folktale, it's a movie that, stylistically, mixes the traditional with the avant-garde; the narrative may be ritualistic, but there's a let's-try-it-on-for-size friskiness to the filmmaking. Read full review
Beautifully filmed, and the star-crossed lovers, both played by first-time actors, are a match made in art-film heaven. But I must admit, the pansori singer got on my nerves about halfway through.
Chunhyang is a movie — and a heroine — for all times.
All the backing-and-forthing between olden and modern days intensifies the emotional impact of a compelling story, and underlines the enduring power of narrative itself.
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