Last month, we spent a Saturday afternoon sat in the very hipster setting of Camden, in a very trendy auditorium waiting for the premier screening of One Fine Day by Ingeun Kim. Kim is a South Korean artist currently working towards a MA in London and this is his first narrative film venture.
We really liked Kim’s film project as it was very modest and sincere. This short follows the artist Ilsun as he goes about his daily routine. We see him wake up, work on his art projects, talk to family, his tries at socialising, and other things that men attempt to do, if you catch our drift. The protagonist of the film Ilsun who, like Kim, is an international art student studying in London. Kim wanted to try and capture the typical lifestyle of an international student as they try to focus on education, yet still finding the time to explore this new city they are inhabiting. For example, one familiar rite of passage that many international students can identify with is the constant talk about time differences with your family back at home, highlighted by Ilsun’s telephone conversation with his father.
Kim has been described as unpretentious which is clearly reflected in this film project. The film was short, sweet and very much open to interpretation; as an artist Kim was not trying to force some deep philosophical hipster notion about life down our throats. The narrative was simple and accessible as we followed the artist Ilsun. His character is very quiet, meaning our perceptions of this artist all came down to how our minds interpret his actions which can result in very different and varied viewing experiences for members of the audience.
Whilst watching the film we spotted some fabulous old school nostalgia, such as the very signature Nokia text message ringtone, and we found the style to be very Brit pop, particularly during the party scene which reminisced Trainspotting and Peep Show vibes; a style very much embedded in the UK. We also loved the locations which felt very gritty and captured London’s atmosphere. And like most Korean films, we were left with a very open ending to interpret as we will.
We thought this film was very light-hearted and entertaining. When the film was over, the artist Ingeun Kim, donned in cool Chelsea boots, proceeded to jump onto the stage and treated us to an acoustic performance of one of the soundtracks he wrote for One Fine Day. Unlike the character of quiet and awkward Ilsun, Ingeun Kim is very jolly, open and down to earth. This film project was an attempt to get rid of the Winter blues and to try something new. When he started this project he had no intended structure nor any special message to project out into the world, although now that he watches it, he has noticed a few unintentional meanings have come through. He also admitted to not realising just how hard a film project would be, but luckily he is not overly critical of himself or particularly harsh as he also admitted to noticing a few bad edits and problems with the sound during the screening. Being the laid back creative mind that Kim is, he just went with the flow and this project became a short film as a lot got edited and cut out, and it just turned out this way.
The actors used were mostly fellow artists living in London with no previous acting experience. Artists are mostly reserved by nature and Kim questioned their ability to act, but he trusted them as they would have experienced these situations first-hand Throughout the film we see Ilsun meet some personalities that Kim himself, and all his fellow artist friends, have often encountered. A notable character being the artist Gemini, who can be perceived as the nemesis and opposite of our protagonist Ilsun. We watch a very awkward, but all too relatable, conversion between the two as slightly arrogant Gemini confronts Ilsun whether he has seen his Facebook posts. Mentioning Facebook in person is always an awkward social situation…
Kim has stated that all the characters carry a small part of himself and he wanted the audience to be able to relate to each part of him. We think this is quite a brave move to admit to this, as in the film we witness an artist pretending to smoke and looking a bit foolish while doing so, and another sprouting out some pretentious bull about art. The film demonstrates familiar characters and traits that we might not like to admit to. The film was scripted but Gemini was extra passionate as he felt very strongly about the personality type he was portraying. We thought he was a very interesting character and highlighted a lot of things we have often witnessed, such as complaining about his critics, who say he is just replicating himself, however Gemini insists there are slight changes in all his work, and if they don’t notice it then that’s their fault. He continues this line of thought and attempts to fish out some sort of affirmation from the tight-lipped Ilsun.
During the end of screening Q&A someone asked about the “interesting” open ending where we assume Ilsun is masturbating. This is linked to Ilsun and Gemini’s conversation as Gemini seeks for some sort of praise from Ilsun, but Ilsun remains quiet. Gemini views this as a snub and makes the comment that he bets Ilsun masturbates. We were as baffled as you are, but Kim later explained that there is a saying that “rich or poor, everyone licks the bottom of the yoghurt lid” (no pun intended), and so in this short, the act of masturbation becomes a unifying action that transcends all classes and is an act that makes everyone equal, and was Gemini’s attempt at bringing “snobby” Ilsun down from his high horse.
This was a very light and fun afternoon for us – Ingeun Kim is such a chilled out dude. Hopefully he plans more public screenings for this great short as it’s really worth catching if you can! Ingeun Kim has also mentioned that he is currently working on a spin off with another artist who is taking the lead. This spin-off/sequel will focus on international students and Kim is helping out with the soundtrack, editing and even some acting. Either way, this is not the last we will see of Ingeun Kim on the film front as he has quite a few projects planned and he will definitely attempt a feature length film one day! So make sure you listen out for his name in the future!
Our friend Mr. Hangul Celluloid also got the chance to have a one on one interview with the first time film director where they were able to go more in depth about One Fine Day. Make sure you check it out here: Hangulcelluloid.com.
We’d also like to say ‘thanks’ to the lovely Dani who asked us along and even thought to reserve seats for us. Dani was the Creative Manager for the screening and event and did a fantastic job. You can check out more events by Alpha Arts Association here.