Burning (Beoning, 2018)

UKThunderbird Releasing Blu-ray edition


Text below written 2020-03-05


This film was Korean film maestro Lee Chang-dong's firtst directed film in 8 years, since his melodrama Poetry in 2010 (a film i never
liked much, i felt it to be too manipulative with subjects as getting old, Alzheimers and suicide - Sugary Misery porn, Yuck!
Somehow i bought the similar 2007 Secret Sunshine, and that one wasn't sugary, but enough is enough.
OK, with this film Master Lee was back, and with an Art Mystery Thriller based on the writings of popular Japanese author Murakami,
and i liked it a lot. It looked beautiful and was well acted, and the ending will cause a lot of discussions about WTF really happened.

Aaah, yes the often hated Open Ending, and i'm not that fond of this trick normally but here it's so well done that i buy it. There are a
multitude of valid explanations of what really happened, and one of them reminds me of Alain Resnais 1977 Providence plot.
The progressive soundtrack by Mowg was cool and the cinematography was exquisite, especially from the lush countryside.

Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) meets an attractive woman on the street, she's Shin Hae-mi (Jun Jong-seo) an old school-mate, and she wants
him to feed her cat when she's away on an African trip, and they have sex in her small cramped apartment. But where's the cat, is
there a cat at all? Hae-mi is a strange girl and when she returns from Kenya, to smittened and possibly horny Jong-su's disappointment,
she does it in the company of a mysterious slick looking rich guy, Ben (Steven Yeun).

Ben is vaguely unlikeable, too slick and with rich and slightly unpleasant friends, and one wonder by now why Jong-su hangs out with
Hae-mi and Ben at all ? Jong-su says he wants to be a writer, but seems to be a bit too naive, too dumb to be a writer.
And, everything is told and seen through Jong-su's eyes, so beware of the narrative. Then Hae-mi disappears ....

This Blu-ray presents the film in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 and with korean DTS-HD MA 5.1 or stereo 2.0 audio and with english
subtitles, region B. Extra: a 63 minutes long BFI interview with Lee Chang-dong done through a woman who first writes down the question
and then reading it to Lee translating it to Korean

 

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