A QUIET DREAM

South Korea, 2016 (MIFF 2017, International,Asia Pacific)

Director: Zhang Lu

A QUIET DREAM

Three high-profile Korean directors go in front of the camera to star in a poetic urban comedy by Chinese-Korean director Zhang Lu, which opened the 2016 Busan Film Festival.

Ye-ri (Han Ye-ri) is a young woman who was born in China, but travelled to South Korea to meet her Korean father, who is ill. To support him she works in a bar, which is frequented by three sketchy and besotted characters: Ik-june (Yang Ik-june, Breathless, MIFF 2009), a boastful hoodlum who has been unceremoniously thrown out of his gang; Jong-bin (Yoon Jong-bin, Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, MIFF 2012), Ye-ri's clueless landlord; and Jeong-beom (Park Jung-bum, Alive MIFF 2015), a North Korean defector who has just been fired from his job for having 'sad eyes'.

All three men have eyes for Ye-ri, but also enjoy each other's company, and among their jostling quips and pleas for her attention, a surreal and comforting camaraderie grows between these overlooked members of Seoul's underclass. Zhang's latest film is a funny and suitably dreamy ride, in glorious black and white.

'This quirky slice of fringe existence on the grungy side of Seoul is … a whimsical, frequently poetic urban rhapsody buoyed by its deadpan dropout protagonists.' – Variety


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