Burning (Beoning)This article contains spoilers for the plot of the film Burning. The second faces ongoing economic turmoil. Billions of dollars constitute the average household debtmillions of citizens have gone to the streets to overthrow a president cozy with conglomerate interests, and hundreds of thousands of young people remain jobless. Burning brings to focus the clash between these two countries through the life of a working-class man named Jong-su played by Yoo Ah-in. Jong-su is a silent, masculine type whose life is a sum of losses. His hometown of Paju is one of many small-town regions in South Korea facing overwhelming change amid urbanization. His mother abandoned the family when Jong-su was a child, returning only to request money from her unemployed son. His father faces trial for assaulting a local government official, leaving Jong-su with the neglected family house and a diminished cattle farm. Even when Jong-su wins the affection of his childhood acquaintance Hae-mi Jeon Jong-seohe quickly loses this fledgling romance to a wealthy urbanite named Ben Steven Yeun. Throughout the film, Jong-su scuttles between Paju—a mere checkpoint away from the demilitarized zone—and Seoul, hoping to salvage his relationship with Hae-mi and monitor the ever mysterious Ben. With its striking juxtapositions between the rural and urban, embodied by Jong-su and Ben, Burning rejects the glamorization of Asian wealth and the notion of a universal Asian identity, as recently depicted onscreen in Crazy Rich Asians. Instead, Lee concentrates his film on the extreme class inequality in South Korea, underscoring the economic desperation that destroys families, ravages homes, and consumes dispossessed individuals. When the beloved vanishes without a trace, the protagonist suspects the new boyfriend is to blame. He can afford to detach from material and emotional concerns; Jong-su, meanwhile, cannot. When he extends his hand for a casual American handshake and Jong-su bows, as per Korean custom, this moment further marks Ben as a flaneur who comfortably maintains distance from society. His dissociative coldness maps onto his immaculate Gangnam apartment. Ben offers no words of condolences. Instead, he casually boasts about being a serial arsonist. This disparity is reflected in other scenes, too: We see Ben smoking marijuana a highly banned substance in South Korea and speeding in his Porsche. Yet it is Jong-su who is stared down by two Seoul policemen for simply loitering in his pickup truck. But if Jong-su at first appears as the dutiful, law-abiding son in contrast to the previous man of the house, everything changes after his final moments with Hae-mi. When Hae-mi disconnects her phone and then vanishes without a trace, Jong-su suspects Ben is to blame yet lacks enough evidence. The tragedy of Burning is that luxuries of imagination are reserved, first and foremost, for wealthy men. At the start of the movie, Hae-mi explains to Jong-su, over soju and beer at a pojangmachathat she has been taking pantomime classes. Though Hae-mi is a captivating storyteller and tenacious pantomime, Ben and his snooty friends scorn her earnest attempts at living out her creative dreams. Instead, he writes on his own terms, feverishly drafting a petition in a last-ditch attempt to rescue his father from jail. Even as he lacks the stability, resources, and connections to turn his novel-writing fantasy into reality, the film, as a work of expression and documentation, picks up where he leaves off. Like the directors Wong Kar-Wai and Edward Yang, who have trained an impressionistic eye on politically tumultuous Hong Kong in the s and the post-industrial Taiwan of the s, respectively, Lee a former novelist applies a similarly patient, artistic gaze that takes in extreme class stratifications in present-day South Korea. His petition fails to rescue his father. Rather, Hae-mi severs her ties with her Paju family and flits from gig to dead-end gig. She has likely squandered her life savings traveling overseas, and her boyfriend, Ben, may be a serial killer. Her eventual disappearance can possibly be read as her final hurrah as a pantomime, her defiant magnum opus in a cruel world. No missing-persons report is ever filed. Jong-su may care immensely about Hae-mi, but their friendship is bookended by the devastating harm he inflicts on her in formative moments. During childhood, he calls her ugly, driving her to shell out for plastic surgery years later. Then, right before her disappearance, Jong-su calls her a whore for dancing topless. In the middle of the film, Hae-mi returns to Paju, only to find her childhood home demolished.
Back at the Vancouver International Film Festival inI was on a jury that gave this South Korean auteur top prize for his first film, Green Fisha funny, unsettling crime picture that was like an X-ray of Korean culture. In fact, Lee had far more of it than I realized. Over the last 20 years, nobody has made more good movies than he has. Lee never does the same thing twice, and in his latest movie, Burning the best thing at Cannes this yearhe has created a hauntingly ambiguous metaphysical thriller about isolation, soul-warping social divisions, and the darker corners of the male psyche. One day, he bumps into Hae-mi Jeon Jong-seoa delightfully vague young woman who claims to have known him when they were kids. Reading more into this erotic encounter than she does you know menhe agrees to look after her cat while she takes a trip to Africa. So far, so good. But when Hae-mi returns, Jong-su is shocked to discover that, along the way, she acquired a boyfriend, Ben, played by the terrific Korean-American actor Steven Yeun best known for The Walking Dead. Rich, handsome, and internationalized, the Gatsby-esque Ben quickly gets under his skin. Although amiable, Ben exudes a yawning air of superiority that is at best annoying— you want to smack him—and at worst feels a bit, um, sociopathic. The conflict between these young men leaves us wondering what will happen to Hae-mi, an elusively alluring figure caught between the smug Ben, who may be using her, and the bottled-up Ben, who may care about her more than she wants. We sense something bad could happen. But exactly what? Now, Burning is something of a forgive me slow burn—it takes two and a half hours to reach its devastating climax. Not one for flashy style, Lee likes to let scenes play out so that his actors have time to slowly suggest the essence of their characters. Here, he wins three performances that, in a fairer world, would all be up for big awards. Indeed, in a marvelous screen debut, she gives a radiant turn, blooming so brightly—especially in a stoned twilight dance to Miles Davis—that she often outshines her male costars. This, I think, is deliberate. Filled with free-floating spirit, she becomes the occasion for Jong-su and Ben to reveal a masculinity that is as toxic as she is life-affirming. Vogue Daily The best new culture, style, and beauty stories from Vogue, delivered to you daily.
It received almost universal critical acclaim, particularly for its sense of unease and ambiguous narrative and performances. It was selected as the South Korean entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards ; although it was not nominated, it became the first Korean film to make it to the final nine-film shortlist. It received numerous other accoladesand was included on several critics' "top ten" lists for the yearnotably those of The New York TimesLA Timesand the Associated Press ; it was also included on some lists of the greatest films of the decade. An aspiring young novelist, Lee Jong-su performs odd jobs in Paju. One day he runs into Shin Hae-mi, a childhood neighbor and classmate, at a promotion at which he is making a delivery. Jong-su initially does not remember her, but Shin Hae-mi tells him she had plastic surgery. Jong-su then remembers and gives her a pink watch that he won at the promotion. Later, she tells him about her upcoming trip to Africa, and asks him to feed her cat, Boiler, while she is away. Before Hae-mi's departure, Jong-su's father, a cattle farmer, got tangled in disagreeable legal affairs, and Jong-su had to return to the farm. Jong-su passes by Hae-mi's apartment, where he receives instructions about feeding the cat. Later, they have sex in Hae-mi's apartment. After Hae-mi departs, Jong-su dutifully feeds her cat, although he never sees it. He does, however, know that a cat is there because he finds feces in the cat's litter box. He also begins habitually masturbating in her apartment. One day Hae-mi calls, saying she had become stranded at Nairobi Airport for three days after a bombing nearby. When Jong-su comes to pick her up, she arrives with Ben, whom she met and bonded with during the crisis. The three go out for dinner, where Hae-mi recalls a sunset she witnessed during her travels. Moved by the memory, she cries and confesses that she wanted to disappear. Ben is well-off and confident, though it is never entirely clear what he does for a living. Jong-su, struggling to get by and taking care of his family farm while his father is in prison, envies Ben and his relationship with Hae-mi from afar. Hanging out at Jong-su's farm, Hae-mi recalls a childhood memory wherein Jong-su rescued her after she fell into a well near her home, which Jong-su does not remember. The trio smoke cannabis and Hae-mi dances topless. After Hae-mi has fallen asleep on the sofa, Ben confesses a strange hobby: Every two months, he burns an abandoned greenhouse. He notes that Jong-su's rural neighborhood is full of greenhouses. When asked when his next burning will take place, Ben claims it will be very soon and close to Jong-su's house. Jong-su tells Ben that he loves Hae-mi, but later berates Hae-mi for disrobing in front of other men. Hae-mi quietly gets into Ben's car and as they leave Jong-su tells Ben he will keep an eye on the greenhouses in his area. Over the following days, Jong-su keeps watch around the neighborhood to see if any greenhouses burn down, but none do. One afternoon, in front of an intact greenhouse that he happens to be inspecting he receives a call from Hae-mi, which cuts off after a few seconds of ambiguous noises. Jong-su becomes worried as she does not answer any of his calls afterwards, and begins to investigate after her phone number becomes disconnected. Eventually he convinces the landlady to let him into Hae-mi's apartment so that he can feed her cat. Hae-mi's apartment is unnaturally clean; her pink suitcase remains; and all signs of the cat are gone. Jong-su begins stalking Ben, staking out his apartment and following him to see where he goes. When he sees Ben's Porsche parked outside a restaurant he goes inside to confront him. A young woman suddenly approaches the table, apologizing to Ben for being late. As the three of them leave the restaurant, Jong-su asks Ben if he has heard from Hae-mi and whether she had gone on a trip. Ben says he has not heard from her, and he doubts she had gone on a trip because she could not afford it. Talking about Hae-mi in the past tense, Ben says Jong-su was the only person she trusted and that it made him jealous for the first time in his life. One day, Ben finds Jong-su outside his place and invites him up to his apartment, where he finds that he has a new cat which he claims is a rescued stray. Shortly afterwards, Ben's cat runs out of the apartment and Jong-su finds that it answers to "Boil", the same name as Hae-mi's cat.
You're reading the news with potential spoilersmake them spoiler freedismiss. View all pictures for "Burning". Sign upWhy? To participate to HanCinema, you must sign up or log in. The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign upthen a subscribe button will show up. HanCinema's Official Facebook group will keep you updated on the latest in Korean movies and dramas! My HanCinema Sign upWhy? New episodes. The mystery thriller travels back and forth in time, revolving around two women who are connected through a phone call as they live in a different time and space, What stands out the most is the movement of women actors; from Jeon Do-yeonwho has been supported greatly for the last 30 years by the nation, to rising gems Park Shin-hyeJeon Jong-seo and Shin Hye-sunthey are anticipated to bring abundance to the film industry, Sources close to CGV claim that the company will still be supporting independent projects through other means. It is unclear what those means might be, but enough independent films are currently produced and distributed that the loss of this particular extension is not expected to have major effects on the market, The country's young people have struggled to obtain jobs and get married in an increasingly difficult labor market. April's youth unemployment rate is now And the frustrations related to this have crept into South Korean films, In contrast to the other ones, which have broader voting bodies and focus principally on mainstream films, the Chunsa Film Festival's nominations are decided by five highly respected local film critics and voted on by South Korean film directors, While Jeon Jong-seo joined the cast of the movie back in April this is the first report that she is playing the lead role, rather than a supporting one, Here are the winners for movies, The main question is whether it will be in or out of competition, Actor and director Jung Woo-sung is a guest of the film festival. He was photographed leaving for the film festival on March 19th, He posted a picture with his wife on social media 24th. Joanna Park and Steven Yeun are expecting their second child in April, Director Lee attended the Museum of Modern Art's retrospective of his films, and was kind enough to sit for an exclusive chat with The Lady Miz Diva about the politics of rage, the mysteries of existence, and his hopes for young filmmakers in the streaming age, Featuring a Behind-the-Scenes Featurette, It is the first Korean film to make the shortlist, The ceremony was held on November 13,Jung Yoo-mi 's Ham Eun-ho will have more than demons to fend off, that's for sure, She skipped most of her lectures, she admits, and instead immersed herself in films, which comforted and helped her to pull herself together whenever she was going through a hard time, More Korean Box Office for the Weekend The newest still of Yoo Ah-in with a cat he looks to be saving sure makes me want to go watch "Burning"Over the course of one such task, Jong-soo meets Hae-mi played by Jeon Jong-seowho is also apparently from Paju, in about as bad a financial situation as Jong-soo, yet is also planning a trip to Africa. Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Close Menu. Burning 7. When Haemi disappears, Jongsu becomes suspicious of Ben and his mysterious hobby. More purchase options. By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime. Customers who watched this item also watched. Customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Prime Video Verified Purchase. It brings together a story from Faulkner and one from Murakami. Great film. Most efforts to realize literature through film fail. But this is superb. One of the nice qualities of Murakami's writing is that you can read for long stretches because of the 'rhythm' of ordinary events. This film somehow achieves the same effect: at 2. The story is powerful and a bit mysterious. This will probably be in the Criterion collection in a few years. I stopped the film after a minute, seeing that there are no subtitles. I would like to be reimbursed, unless you can offer an English-subtitled version! Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase. Incredible films. But Burning, for me, takes the crown as the very best in a very great year. It succeeds in what it set out to do just a little more than the others. It takes a tiny short story by Haruki Murakami, and fleshes it out to make a strong statement about wealth, class, and male rage in South Korean society. What a mesmerizing masterpiece. Stephen Yeun has broken through into the elites of American film actors. And he did it by playing a convincing Korean-born playboy.