The significance of living and Survival: “Burning Barn”- 2018 Melbourne International Film Festival

4b90f603738da977abfcda8dbc51f8198718e3412018 Melbourne Film Festive comprises the modern art of film work “Burning”.  Burningis a 2018 South Korean mystery drama film directed by Lee Chang-dong, which is the representative of the Asian film in 2008 Melbourne International Film Festive. Lee Chang-dong (Hangul: 이창동) is a screenwriter, novelist and South Korean film director, who was born in July 1954. He is well known for his films Secret Sunshine, Peppermint Candy, and Poetry. Lee Chang-dong has won many remarkable Awards in Film profession, including Special Director’s Award of the 2002 Venice Film Festival and the Best Screenplay award of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. He also won the award for Achievement in Directing at the 4th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. He has also been nominated for the Golden Lion and the Palme d’Or. Lee served as South Korea’s Minister of Culture and Tourism from 2003 to 2004.

Burningis adapted from Haruki Murakami’s “Barn Burning“, the short story of romantic longing for this critically acclaimed,  Cannes FIPRESCI prize-winning thriller starring Korean heart-throb Yoo Ah-in and The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun. According to the 1992 Murakami story, Lee’s new work starts the story at a delivery man Jong-su accidentally met a girl Hae-mi who used to live in the same neighborhood as him. Before her traveling to Africa, she asked him to take care of her cat. However, after the trip, she introduces a mysterious, rich man Ben to Jong-su, she met Ben on the trip. One day, Ben visits Jong-su’s with Hae-mi and confesses his own secret hobby, and the following mystery plot begins.Burningwas not only invited to the competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, also selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

An eye-catching point of the film is probably “cross-cultural art creation”.  As we know, the author of the  original novel is Mr. Haruki Murakami of the Yamato nation from Japan and the directors, screenwriters, and actors are Koreans, so this is this cross-ethnic and cross-cultural performance, undoubtedly. Moreover, the hidden meaning of the film is to reflect the significance of living and survival, and this idea is verified by Lee’s brief conversation online. He states that in the modern world, it seems no matter people from which countries, states and religion, in which class is able to be angry for their own reasons. The anger of young people is the problem, this “anger” is a metaphor, comparison of the young generation in South Korea is experiencing difficulties nowadays. For example, they are currently facing the serious employment issue, which makes them struggling at the edge of despair, since this problem would not be improved in the future. In their view, this surface of seemingly more and more prosperous, convenient, and like nothing happened world is like a huge mystery. Just as the protagonist of Haruki Murakami’s short story feels powerless to any unidentified object. That’s true. The more mundane, the more humble people can understand the feeling of powerlessness. For me, the first time I read this short story, I feel that the “useless warehouse” in the scene of burning a useless warehouse could be a metaphor as abandoning a useless person. At that time, it seems like I felt the anger after bringing my feelings into it. In addition, the director was interested in the work because Barn Burningwas the same title as William Faulkner’s short novel. It is distinct from all films in 2018 Melbourne Film Festival, expresses the practical significance of reacting and recording contemporary social phenomena in this modern chaos world.

By Yanan Zhao (Aria)

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