A Fish 3D
An absconding wife is becoming a shaman and her devastated husband thinks he’s losing his mind in Park Hongmin’s phenomenal mystery thriller, shot in perfect, homemade 3-D. The latest wave in Korean cinema starts here.
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Professor Lee has walked out on his students in mid-class. Now he’s driving south to rendezvous with the seedy gumshoe he hired to track down his missing wife. Things are not going well. Apparently his wife has been initiated as a shaman; Lee himself feels like he’s losing touch with reality. And the detective seems to be a psychotic menace. By the time the two men reach the shamanist enclave on Jindo Island, Lee is so baffled by the weird people he’s met and so disorientated, he might as well be in Twin Peaks... Park Hongmin’s mystery thriller is a phenomenal achievement: shot in perfect, homemade 3-D on a shoestring budget (Park is still a graduate student), it’s skilfully plotted, designed and cast and delivers more frissons-per-minute than most Hollywood neo-noirs. It’s also both irreducibly Korean and plausibly universal. The latest wave in Korean cinema starts here.
A Fish was born from doubts I had. Suddenly, I was ashamed of everything I had been satisfied with. I couldn’t be sure what was right or what my achievement was. These questions lingered in my head for a long time, and it made everything seem different around me. That is why I got interested in finding something between two extremes. A Fish is filled with ironies. Jeon-hyuk thinks he is looking for his wife, but maybe his wife is looking for him instead. He tries to be logical about everything, but all the things around him are illogical and incomprehensible. Logics and shamanism, beliefs and doubts, life and death are coexisting here. I wanted to point out that there is nothing we can be sure of. It makes this world subtle and restless. So we keep trying to lean on something. Jeon-hyuk couldn’t accept this uncertainty while Ji-yeon could. I think this embrace makes her closer to God. And being shaman is, maybe, embracing this uncertainty. This film poses questions to Jeon-hyuk and to us, too. We all are tiny segments of this enormous world. As two fishermen said, maybe we all are fish living in the ocean, not knowing what lies outside of this world. If the bait to lead you outside appears, what will you choose? Are you going to take it or not? A Fish is shot in 3D. I thought the chemical action between traditional material and technology would show something interesting. 3D gives more depth and impression of space. And 3D is considered a more realistic medium, but in fact, it makes everything exaggerated and distorted. This semiotic feature better fits A Fish’s theme.
Having graduated with a BA from Hallim University, and in film directing from the Dongah Institute of Media and Arts, he is currently majoring in the directing department at the Graduate School of Digital Image and Contents, Dongguk University, Korea.
2006 To Him [s]; Good Day to Love [s]
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