Sunday, 12 October 2014

"Bitter, Sweet, Seoul" -- A Beautiful Depiction of Seoul

Bitter, Sweet, Seoul is a beautiful unnarrated documentary about Seoul. It was put together by brothers Park Chang-Wook and Park Chang-Kyong. The former is one of Korea's most celebrated filmmakers (e.g. Old Boy and Joint Secure Area), and the later is an equally celebrated artist and occasional filmmaker (e.g. Manshin and Night Fishing). The documentary is a montage of video clips that were sent in by residence living in Seoul of whatever they found interesting. The cinematographic selection is clearly heavily influenced by Park Chang-Kyong's artist's eye; while Park Chang-Wook is most likely behind the narrative line. This movie is a professional accomplishment of my amateur attempt of representing Korea on my blog Korean Minute. What I like most about Bitter, Sweet, Seoul is that unlike other typical Korean "promotional" depictions of Korea which seem very one-sided and plastic, only focusing on the beautiful aspects and hiding the negative, this film doesn't hide the grime and uglier parts of Seoul. As a Seoulite myself, I find Bitter, Sweet, Seoul a much more authentic rendition of Seoul than what is usually shown. So, if you have an hour to sit back and just enjoy the sights and sounds of South Korea's captical, then I highly recommend watching this dreamy documentary. As I mentioned earlier, there is no narration, no "story" so to speak, creating a mesmerizing flow of images, allowing the viewer to find their own narrative line. 

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