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Park Chanwook Unveils New Short Film LIFE IS BUT A DREAM

Feb 24, 2022
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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iPhone-Shot Period Martial Arts Film Stars Kim Okvin, Yoo Haejin and Park Jungmin


Life Is But a Dream (2022) 


While the world awaits Park Chanwook’s highly anticipated forthcoming feature Decision to Leave, the master Korean filmmaker has returned with a new short film. Life Is But a Dream reunites him with his Thirst (2009) star Kim Okvin and also features Yoo Haijin and Park Jungmin, both working with Park for the first time.


A comic period drama with martial arts and performative dance sequences, the film was commissioned by global tech giant Apple and shot exclusively on their new iPhone 13 Pro models. The film was shot by legendary cinematographer Kim Wuhyeong, who previously worked with Park on his BBC mini-series The Little Drummer Girl


Life Is But a Dream takes place during the Joseon Era and follows a peasant (Yoo) who attempts to steal a coffin to give a proper burial to a warrior (Kim) who died saying his village, only to disturb the spirit of the swordsman (Park) within it, who then duels with the warrior. The film mixes fantasy, martial arts and traditional Korean narrative performance styles such as pansori and madanggeuk.


Producing the film along with Park were his brother Park Chankyoung and Baek Jiseon, the head of Park’s production company Moho Film. Director Park and his brother, under the moniker ‘PARKing CHANce’, previously made the short film Night Fishing, which was also shot on an earlier iPhone model and earned the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival in 2011.


Director Park’s last feature film was The Handmaiden, which bowed at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Currently in post-production, his next film Decision to Leave stars Tang Wei and Park Haeil and is due out later this year. 


Life Is But a Dream was launched on Apple’s YouTube channel and Apple TV+ on February 18.

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