Ingeun Kim – One Fine Day Review
How does an artist trying to make a name for themselves in an unknown country live? Apparently with instant ramyun, cultural discomfort and pornography.
One Fine Day (Hwa-chang-han Nal in Korean), is the debut short film written and directed by Ingeun Kim. It follows the life of a Korean artist living and working in London and his everyday interactions with those surrounding him. We start off the evening by listening to a quick summary of the short movie we are about to watch and a guitar performance by the director, then we are thrown straight in.
The film begins by ‘introducing’ the audience to the main character of Ilsu, a young Korean man whose life is shown to resolve around London as it is in the city in which he lives and works as an artist. During the movie he is shown meeting with many, though the stand out is the character of Gemini who he has a very uncomfortable conversation with at a party. Throughout we are shown how he interacts with the environment and people around him. Many of these interactions left me questioning if the director was showing a person who had simply given up on his new environment and the people in it.
The ‘characters’ I felt were not explored in enough detail in order to develop an interest in them and though you could tell that the director had wanted to show an unpretentious piece I was left feeling conflicted by it all. The one character the director did seem to focus on a lot what that of Gemini and in a sense I could see why, as his character seemed to be the polar opposite to Ilsu. However, the director seemed somewhat focused on this character and this showed during the Q&A.
This was definitely a piece that had me thinking and questioning a lot of the moves made within it. Mainly why the film had not been a longer piece (but we get to this in a while).
After the film had finished came the Q&A with the director which myself and Eileen had looked forward to. However, even after this we were still left with many questions and not enough answers. Beyond Hallyu then put forward a question asking why he had chosen to make Ilsu the main character of the film when we could clearly make out that he was much more interested in the development of the character Gemini. We were told that because he was showing the life of an established artist with that character against that of Ilsu’s non-established artist character, he felt that the two characters were opposites whose conversation during the film showed just how different each of their perspectives on their lifestyle choices and career choices were. This had made him feel that maybe the main character all along was in fact Gemini’s as he was more fitting of that role.
After this the director expressed his regret at the amount of editing that had been done to the film (which had originally been planned as a feature length film and not a short) leaving it a vessel of what it had been; though this allowed it to follow a more natural path.
When asked why he had ended the film with the main watching pornography whilst masturbating he answered that he had done this in order to unify the audience as ‘everybody does this’ and to make the character more relatable. Could this not have been achieved in the same way by showing us the character in another setting or going into more details about him?
Though I did see many issues with the way questions were sometimes avoided, I ultimately put this down to the fact that the director seemed very embarrassed to be there and after a few questions he shared that he in fact was. As a non-established director he felt that it was difficult to answer the questions given to him and to express his feelings as he was not someone who was ‘worthy’ of the audiences interest and attention. This one admission gave me more insight into the workings out his mind then both the film itself and the Q&A that had been put together. This admission will also have me keeping a watchful eye on Mr Ingeun Kim and his future works.
I look forward to the potential continuation of this short film (which he had announced to the audience had already begun filming and was a spin-off) and hope that we not only see a longer film but we also see a stronger sense of direction from this promising director.