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If You Were Me
Korean audio. english subs
.:: A B O U T ::.
"If you take a look at the list of directors on board for this project, you?ll probably note that more than half of them have created films that have gone on to become the pillars of Korean Cinema. If You Were Me is filmmaking at its best. You take six very different directors with very different and distinct styles and they each paint a drastically different picture, but in the end, you get the exact same message. Some of the newer Asian cinema fans might not recognize all of the directors involved, but you soon will. While some are more entertaining then others, the six short stories featured here are enough to make an impact on anyone. The more notable episodes (in our opinion) is Park Gwang Su?s (A Single Spark) ?Face Value? and Im Sun-rye?s ?The Weight of Her?. But the centerpiece here belongs to Park Chan Wook?s (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, JSA, Oldboy) ?NEPAL?. If You Were Me will surely be another title to add to the list of films that will play at University and college campuses nationwide for years to come, as professors teach their students about discrimination. Filmmaking has truly evolved to teach the audience a little something while still maintaining a level of entertainment. Highly recommended film."
.:: S T O R Y ::.
Im Sun-rye's The Weight of Her, the film's first episode, is an involving look at how the pressure to look thin and beautiful drives students at a commercial high school. Focusing on the experiences of one young student as she tries to meet the approval of her teachers and society, Yim successfully balances the seriousness of the problem with lyricism and humor.
Another winner is Tongue Tie by Park Jin-pyo, which shows how far some parents go to have their children speak better English. The story takes place in a pediatrician's office where a young boy undergoes surgery on his tongue to enable him to pronounce the "R sound more naturally.
The jarringly colorful office with its television monitor playing animations and a nurse dressed up as a bunny rabbit is surreal enough, but more disturbing is how Park takes footage from real tongue surgeries and mixes them into his story. Much like his feature film "Chukodo Chowa (Too Young to Die), the boundary between fiction and reality becomes blurred with provocative results.
The four other episodes of "If You Were Me seem less direct and concrete about the nature of discrimination. The most abstract is Jeong Jae-eun's The Man With an Affair, in which a young bed-wetter crosses paths with a sex offender in an apartment complex where thought control runs rampant. Jeon seems to be criticizing how society tries to use shame as a form of punishment, but her point gets lost in the imagistic narrative.
Face Value by Park Gwang-su revolves around an argument between a female employee at a parking garage and a male customer. The director tries to link their fight to the fact that they're both good-looking and to their assumptions about each other, but it's a tenuous connection at best.
Yeo Gyun-dong's Crossing is a well-intentioned story about the struggles of a handicapped man that just tries to do too much in 14 minutes.
Ending the film is Park's Never Ending Peace and Love (NEPAL), the astonishing true story of a Nepalese woman who, while working in South Korea, becomes mistaken for a mentally ill Korean after losing her purse and any proof of her identity.
Beginning and ending with the woman back at her home in Nepal, the film tells of how the South Korean people who came in contact with her refused to believe that she wasn't Korean and she ended up spending over six years in a mental institution. Though rough in parts, Park subtly shows the difficulty of being different in a homogenous society through an absurd situation where the opposite was true.
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