Directed by: Bang Seung Hyeon
Distributed by: TBA
Written by Alexander Reams
Disorientation can be a useful tool, usually to unnerve the audience and heighten the stakes and suspense. Like Uncle Ben says “With great power comes great responsibility”, the responsibility of making a disorienting film is to still make it comprehensible to the audience. Writer/Director Bang Seung Hyeon is aware of this responsibility and seemingly doesn’t care from the opening scene. Two women sitting on an old outdoor basketball court, drinking beer, and talking about life. From this beginning, you would never know that the film is more a meditation on grief after a woman loses her father, in fact, I didn’t know this until near the end of the film. This is Hyeon’s debut film, for writing and directing, and her voice is distinct, taking older tropes, black and white photography, surrealism, breaking the film into different chapters, and using them for no apparent reason other than to just do it.
The film is broken into 4 of the previously mentioned chapters, which in a 63-minute film, means we won’t be spending a lot of time in each chapter. Each segment is an interpretation of a dream that our leading lady Ye Won (portrayed by Son Ye-won) has. Here is where Hyeon goes off the rails with disorientation, there were frames that I could not decipher, and the subtitles were just there, they weren’t on the clock, helping out, just chilling in the bottom middle of the screen. Hyeon may have wanted to make a loosely structured film and had to find something to fill the space, and she succeeded with the loose structure, but all that makes up the film is filler, performances are stilted, the dialogue seems to be an afterthought, it all seems staged to be pretentious for pretentions sake. Now all of this could be forgiven if the visuals were up to par, and getting back to the opening scene, the camera seems more intrigued with the beer cans in front of the women than the women and what they are saying. People never seem to be of interest in Hyeon’s shots, nor do they seem to be the subject of the shots, yet they speak dialogue that might be important to the story, just like the dreams that mix with reality, we’re never really sure of why just that it is.
“Goodafternoon Sweetdream” Trailer