Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
If your rent goes up, do you give up 1) cigarettes, 2) whisky, 3) your apartment or 4) your struggling manga-artist boyfriend? Mi-so (Esom), a college dropout who scrapes by as a housekeeper, decides to move out and couch surf with buddies in her former rock band. Her trip through Seoul’s poshest neighbourhoods and downscale matchbox estates reveals the chequered hopes and hangups of thirtysomethings. As she reconnects with some old friends and drifts away from others, one is compelled to ruminate on the nature of friendship and the loneliness of urban life.
Mi-so’s daily challenge to put a roof over her head will strike a chord with Vancouverites struggling to keep up with skyrocketing housing prices. Jeon Go-woon, who’s produced some refreshing work as a scriptwriter (Collective Invention, Familyhood) has made a directorial debut that’s adorably kooky yet underscored by a melancholy strain. Even though Mi-so’s idea of a hot date is holding hands with her boyfriend while they give blood at the Red Cross in exchange for nice snacks, her wilful attachment to the things she loves is an assertion of female independence. Model-actress Esom exudes a natural, winsome air that makes you want to follow her to the edge of the world.
Best Film, NY Asian FF 17