Jun 2016 VOL.62


  • by LEE Eun-sun / 10.29.2012
  • Director LEE Kwang-kuk
    - Why is it Romance ‘Joe’? Shouldn’t it be Romance ‘LEE’ if you named it after yourself?
    A friend of mine is a member of an indie band and every member of this band has an unusual nickname. He is Romance JOE and the others are Dark PARK and Dry KIM. I met them one day while I was working on the scenario and impulsively took it as my title. I don’t need to pay royalties, but I did receive permission to use it. He later watched the film at the Seoul Independent Film Festival and found it very interesting to hear so many people mention his nickname. 
    - Was it your intention to frame the story from the start? 
    Yes. I wanted to employ a structural approach. When I saw ‘Drawing Hands’, a lithograph by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher by chance, I thought it would be good to use such a structure for my film.
    - Why did you want to have a structural approach?
    I care a lot about image but what I want the most is to be a fun storyteller. As long as the story is good enough, the film can succeed no matter what the quality of the image is. I put the most emphasis on the story rather than the image. Hence, I usually start by thinking about the structure that will best convey my story.
    - The death of a famous actress seems to be a big event at first, but later it looks like a MacGuffin. Is it a strong metaphor about ‘rumors’, the main theme of the story? 
    Yes, it is. A rumor is like a ghost. People asked me a lot if it’s okay not to let the actress appear in the film even once, but I held back because rumors will inevitably float around. It didn’t matter if she really existed or not 
    - The man who listens to Joe’s story in the film is a director planning on a new film. Did he necessarily have to be a director? 
    It is a reflection of myself from the past at a time when I wanted to become a director and live as a storyteller. I also wanted to restrict the characters of the film to people who desperately needed a story. The boy looking for his mother needed a story about her. Cho-hui (LEE Chae-eun) might have been curious about where her ex-boyfriend Romance JOE was and what he was doing. The waitress at the coffee shop (SHIN Dong-mi) needed stories to catch her customers’ attention. Romance JOE (KIM Yeong-pil) made up his mind to commit suicide because he couldn’t come up with any new stories.
    - You used to work with HONG Sangsoo. What did he say after watching the film?
    He liked it. He said the ending was good. He even hi-fived me! He usually doesn’t even read scripts written by production staff members. I was really happy to get a hi-five from him!
    - What kind of stories will you make in the future?
    I’m very interested in cinema structure and I experiment a lot with it, but I will focus my work on brighter stories. I’d like to write a lively story that reminds the audience of  ‘Don Quixote’.
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