- FILM & PEOPLE
- K-Cinema Library
Oct 01, 2019
- Writerby Pierce Conran
2000 | 108 MIN | Romance
DIRECTOR BYUN Daniel H.
CAST SHIM Eun-ha, LEE Jung-jae
RELEASE DATE April 1, 2000
The Dogme 95 Manifesto, a blueprint for raw, guerilla filmmaking that puts a focus on naturalistic lighting and limited artifice, is largely known as a Danish film movement hatched by the filmmakers Lars VON TRIER and Thomas VINTERBERG, yet it found its way around the world as well. The Dogme #7 slot is occupied by the Korean film Interview, the debut of director BYUN Daniel H., starring SHIM Eun-ha and LEE Jung-jae.
Film director Eun-suk (LEE Jung-jae), upon his return from a stint working on film sets in Paris, is working on a film, which sees him gather several interviews on the subject of love. One day, his producer convinces a major star to appear in the film (KWON Min-jung of the 1998 film Two Cops 3, among others), but Eun-suk is more drawn to her friend Young-hee (SHIM Eun-ha). What Eun-suk doesn’t realize is that Young-hee is lying throughout her interviews, as she seeks to hide from her past, yet over time the process helps her to come to terms with her issues, and the pair slowly draw closer to one another.
While the film largely follows the Dogme 95 Manifesto by sticking to natural light and handheld cameras among other things, it occasionally breaks the rules (as most Dogme films have to some degree), by employing a fractured narrative timeline and using music that doesn’t exist within the world of the film.
Interview immediately seeks to break the fourth wall, as a production meeting between the filmmakers of the documentary sees them all discuss what to do and what not to do with the first scene in a film. BYUN’s film is a very self-aware one, not to mention partly autobiographical, as the director also spent time studying film in Paris.
While Interview doesn’t exactly rewrite the book, its adherence to Dogme filmmaking rules and its experimental aesthetic differentiate it from the many wistful romantic dramas that were populating Korean cinema at the time of the film’s release.
Following Interview, Director BYUN would go on to make the controversial but well-regarded romantic thriller The Scarlet Letter (2004). After that, he returned with the erotic and political thriller High Society last year.
LEE Jung-jae has remained a star for over two decades in the Korean film industry, recently appearing in the occult thriller SVAHA : THE SIXTH FINGER, but Interview proved to be the last role for superstar SHIM Eun-ha, who retired from filmmaking despite being one of the biggest names in Korean entertainment during the late 1990s, known for films such as Christmas in August (1998) and Tell Me Something (1999).