Host & Guest (Bangmunja) (South Korea)
Host & Guest (South Korea)
Host and Guest, directed by Shin Dong-il was definitely my favorite film of the day. I poked around the net looking for some discussion of this film. I was a bit bummed I couldn't find anything - though I guess it's pretty cool to catch a film early in the discussion cycle. At this point I recommend checking it out - though if you're looking for a film that skips over the characters trip to the corner store to buy cigarettes you might look elsewhere.
A cynical, divorced intellectual has a bizarre life-changing (and life-saving) encounter with a stoic evangelist, who turns out to have his own problems. From amusingly varied viewpoints, the two bond and start to take a stand against the oppressing forces in their lives.
I really enjoyed this screening. A quiet film with enough humorous moments to keep it moving along. In a lot of ways it feels like a movie where you watch characters simply moving through life. If that was all there was I think it would have been enjoyable. But what comes along with that is the change between the two main characters as they each fill a void in each other's life with each saving the other.
The movie's timeframe is around the reelection of George W. Bush. At one point during the screening there was a cry of "what's with the Bush bashing?" It's not prevalent enough to steer a supporter away from it - but from what I can tell that's a rapidly dwindling section of the movie going public anyway. There's one related part of the film I'd love to write about but I'd hate to spoil the gag. I may not be able to write as well as the New Yorker - but at least I can avoid giving away the good parts.
The festival description is pretty reasonable for this one. It does tell the story of a somewhat down on his luck film professor and the younger evangelist he begrudgingly befriends. The impact of the evangelist does leave the older man in a much healthier place at the end. As a nice touch the professor's growth is through their friendship and not through his acceptance of the other character's religious beliefs.
And if nothing else it'll definitely make you think twice about ignoring a sticking door around the house.
Posted by Rich at 6:42 PM