Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interview with Director Jang Hoon : Highly anticipated movie ‘Gojijeon', two men reached the saturation point

Article by Movieweek
Translated in English  by Wid Kosoo

Point of view is a tool to picture war

“When I saw a scenario of war movie entitled Gojijeon, I refused to read. But two hours later, I changed my mind,” Director Jang Hoon said. “The important things in scenario are the first scene and last scene. Overall, the story is good, but there’s greediness in me that I want to transfer the scenario into particular scene.” Then he cancelled his holiday plan and started to picture ‘Gojijeon’.

Definitely ‘Gojijeon’ is different from previous war movies, which used ‘war' as a tool for action movies in their scenario. “The scenario is good, it’s about time to look at the war. From all of staffs, noone is experiencing the war. People who have no experience in the war had to picture 'war',” the director was a bit worried, “So I was picturing the war with my point of view”.

“I also want to feel the thrill of action movie.” Director Jang Hun wanted to get it in his way, “like action in the visible action”. He said, “Those people are not specialized in military-trained soldiers. The right of action in itself is impossible. They’re struggling for their lives, not just action.” Another difference is the scenery of the war.

"We’ve seen a lot of war movies, but they focused on large-scale battle," so ‘Gojijeon’ spent a lot of time to search all background datas and photos for little details. The formula to make Gojijeon as 'war action blockbuster movie’ is expensive because “The production cost is close to 10 billion won.”

"The point of view in Hollywood war film is a sleek monotone image. This seems unrealistic under the blue skies of South Korea, with all mud in the field, and dark red blood of people. They're making the movie with the same idea over and over again. I want to deliver the sadness of the past to recent days. That war should not happen again, anywhere."

‘Gojijeon’ is not a movie about two men ?

"Gojijeon is about things after the war broke out, the prologue of the situation when it all begins. Fresh out of college guy Soo Hyeok (Ko Soo) and Eun Pyo (Sin Ha Kyun) joined the army for their first combat. Stuck out in fear, unable to sustain. However, over time, they met again in the frontline and there’s a full swing in their relationship.”

"The audience who expected to see Ko Soo and Sin Ha Kyun wouldn’t find that pleasure. The two actors have special performances as commissioned soldiers. In the scene, they are Soo Hyeok and Eun Pyo. Their slowly dissolving process in the film is far more attractive than I thought,” said director Hoon, to emphasize a point that Ko Soo and Sin Ha Kyun are not the star of ‘Gojijeon’.

Reveals the true hero!

Director Jang Hoon spent a lot of time for casting actors and finding the right locations of battles. “I've seen pictures of war materials, it left a deep feeling. I want to make this looks like the real one.”

"Production staffs were hunting to take pictures. Then we found the hill we loved, after a fire 2 years ago it’s burned bare, scorched trees, dark, and the soil were different from others. Staff members noticed that would be hard to come up the mountain. "(Laughter) “The scenes of war were already dangerous, and I was worried about the possibility that staff would had accident.”

Production staffs were working hard to make this movie looks like a reality. The set brought us back to the battlefield 50 years ago. “In this case, perhaps for the first time, Korea seems to be real in the movies. Troubled, but the results are quite satisfactory."

The shooting from September last year, full six months ‘non-ordinary life’, and finished the filming in March, Gojijeon’s staffs are working hard now for its final touch. Coming in July, we will witness the brutality of war.

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