Year of the 12 Directors: July – Lee Hyun Seung

It’s the start of a new month, and for Londoners, that means the turn of a new director for the KCC’s ‘Year of the 12 Directors’! July sees Lee Hyun Seung’s films being played each week of this month, with his arrival for a special Directors Q&A on the last week. So, what can we expect from this man?

Year of the 12 Directors: July - Lee Hyun Seung

Lee Hyun Seung is known for being a bit of an ‘activist’ director, who has strong opinions on film making, and everything it involves. In his early days, he took part in human rights projects by directing films commissioned by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. In the past, he’s also worked as an assistant director to Park Kwang Su, whom we interviewed back in March and is a director well known for using his films as mediums for addressing and tackling social issues of the masses. Apart from directing, Lee Hyun Seung is also involved in the film industry in other areas, for example, he was as the first commissioner of the Gyeonggi Performing Arts & Film Commission and vice-chairman of Korean Film Council.

His four films this month will be: The Blue In You, Sunset into the Neon Lights, Il Mare and Hindsight plus the director Q&A. Please note that the films were originally scheduled for specific Thursdays this month, but some have swapped round which dates they’re on. We’re still assuming that Hindsight will still be shown for the Q&A session though.

The Blue In You (그대안의 블루):

“Two department store window display decorators find themselves to be perfectly matched professionally but, as they gradually fall in love, it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to work well together.” Quote from IMDB

It was ridiculously hard trying to find pictures or a trailer for this film, and as we haven’t seen this film, the only information on the plot we found was from IMDB. However, this sounds like a good film, though we predict it will not have a happy ending!

Sunset into the Neon Lights ( 네온 속으로 노을지다):

“Sang Min faces sexual discrimination at her advertising job and her lover’s publishing company goes bankrupt. However she is determined to find a solution to both their problems”. Quote from Asian Wiki

Again, pretty difficult finding a trailer for this. This plot seems to have a similar feeling to The Blue In You – the focus is on a pair of lovers who face challenges in their daily lives and in their personal ones too. It seems director Lee Hyun Seung is keen on the theme of lovers facing pressure from outside forces, such as work, in his films.

Il Mare (시월애):

For anyone watching this trailer and thinking this plot looks a little familiar, that’s because the American film Lake House is actually a remake of this film! Once again, Hollywood loves the Korean films! Like in the American version, the two main characters who fall in love can only communicate through a post box, but are actually separated in time by years. If you want an emotional, time bending romance, then this is for you. Like the previous films we will see from the director, this has a similar melancholic atmosphere to it. We’d recommend having tissues on stand by if you’re going along to this one.

Hindsight (푸른소금/Blue Salt):

Hindsight has been called his first fully commercial film, and you can certainly see from the trailer the style and pace seem very different to his earlier offerings. This film, which sees a female assassin sent to kill a retired crime syndicate boss, but inadvertently warming to him, looks fast paced and energetic. We’re not surprised this film has been chosen as the last film and for the Q&A session, as it looks like it’s more likely to draw in a wider audience than some of his earlier works. However, looking at some reviews around the web, it seems like this film isn’t rated as highly as his other works – perhaps it’s too clichéd in an attempt to draw in bigger audiences? Be sure to go along and make up your own minds! It’s always worth going to the director Q&As to see all the different and interesting personalities of the directors.As usual, the first three films of the month will be shown at the KCC for free, then the last film will be held at the Apollo at Piccadilly Circus. Check out KCC’s webpage for all the info about booking and times!Sources: Twitch Film, Korean Film, IMDB, Asian Wiki

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