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Silk Shoes VCD

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Silk Shoes
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YesAsia Editorial Description

It took 6 long years for Yeo Gyun Dong to make his comeback as a director. Responsible for what's still one of the best road movies in Korean Cinema history, 1994's Out To The World, Yeo also starred in controversial films like Jang Sun Woo's To You From Me and romcoms like Love Bakery. Silk Shoes shares something in common with Out To The World, because of its deep road movie roots and the low key atmosphere.

Shot on a shoestring budget of 300 million won, Silk Shoes tells the story of Man-Soo, one of the many film directors struggling with the system. His films barely register a blip at the box office, but he turns out to be good enough for a group of thugs, who employ him as the director of his first real-life blockbuster. His mission? Create a realistic North Korea for the boss' senile father, to allow him to go home one last time. And then the problems begin, because as Super Family showed, trying to recreate how the neighbors up North live can be a little problematic, especially if you live in the South.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Silk Shoes Silk Shoes (韓國版) Silk Shoes (韩国版) シルクの靴 비단 구두
Artist Name(s): Yeo Gyun Dong | Kim Da Hye 呂均東 | Kim Da Hye 吕均东 | Kim Da Hye ヨ・ギュンドン | キム・ダヘ 여균동 | 김다혜
Release Date: 2006-10-12
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English
Place of Origin: South Korea
Disc Format(s): VCD
Publisher: Daekyung DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004538857

Product Information

거칠면서도 부드럽고 여린 조폭 캐릭터
깊숙이 빠져들게 하는 인간냄새

고향에 가겠다고 가출을 밥 먹듯이 하는 아버지, 게다가 치매까지 걸린 아버지라면 요즘 세상에 끼고 있을 자식들이 과연 몇이나 될까? 최근 한국영화의 주요 키워드로 자주 등장하고 있는 조폭들은 여균동 감독의 이번 신작 <비단구두>에도 어김없이 등장한다. 하지만 성철을 비롯한 그의 두목은 아버지를 위해 돈을 들여 거짓 여행까지 꾸밀 줄 아는 꾸밈없는 효자의 모습을 보여준다. 물론 그 여행을 계획하는 과정에서도 조폭다운 기질은 여지없이 보여주고 있지만 그 안에서 풍겨나오는 사람냄새에 관객들은 하나둘씩 취하게 된다.

그 여행에서 행동대장 노릇을 하는 성철은 영화감독 만수가 여행에 대해 회의적인 모습을 보이자, 돈 떼먹고 도망간 사람을 붙잡아 과감히 처치하는 모습을 눈 앞에서 보여주는 등 거친 모습은 여전하지만 여행의 종반부로 갈수록 그는 여리고 가슴따뜻한 이면을 드러내 보인다. 이런 감성어린 성향은 절제된 감정표현 속에서 더욱 부각되고 있어 관객들은 성철의 인간적인 캐릭터에 깊이 빠져들게 된다.

열악한 환경에서 빚어낸 보석 같은 역작

<비단구두>는 3억원을 들여서 30억원 같은 화면을 담아냈다는 평을 받고 있다. 예산문제 때문에 하루 12시간씩 촬영을 강행하고 일주일에 겨우 하루 휴식을 취하는 등 감독과 배우 그리고 스탭들의 고초는 이루말할 수 없을 만큼 힘들었지만 감독의 연출력, 배우들의 열연 그리고 스탭들의 녹녹치 않는 노고는 기대 이상으로 깔끔하게 나온 화면과 군더더기 없는 이야기전개로 탄생되었다.

특히 겨울씬이 유난히 많은 탓에 폭설이 내린 날은 포크레인으로 눈을 긁고 난 후 촬영을 강행하기도 하였으며 그 추운 미시령 고개는 눈도 모자라 살을 에는 강풍까지 불어 제작진들의 얼굴은 하루도 트지 않는 날이 없었다. 이렇듯 영화는 힘들게 촬영되었지만 최근 스위스에서 열리는 프리부르국제영화제 경쟁부문에 진출하는 등 여균동 감독의 국내 골수팬에게는 물론 해외에서도 그 진가를 인정받고 있다.

효심 가득한 북한 방문 프로젝트
“영화 만드는 사람들은 뭐든 다 할수 있지 않아???”

자신이 감독한 영화가 흥행에 참패한 후 의기소침해있던 만수에게 어느 날, 한 통의 전화가 걸려온다. 제작자가 빚을 견디다 못해 어디론가 사라져 버리자 그 빚은 고스란히 만수에게 넘어온 것이다. 전화를 한 사채업자는 빚을 탕감해 주는 대신 치매에 걸린 자신의 아버지 배영감을 위해 아버지의 고향인 개마고원을 꾸며 아버지를 모시고 여행을 시켜달라고 한다. 말이 돼냐고 항변하는 만수에게 “영화 만드는 사람이면 뭐든 가능하지 않겠냐~” 면서 협박에 가까운 부탁을 한다.

실수연발… 가짜 북한방문 프로젝트!!
그분의 소원을 위해 기막힌 연출이 시작된다!!

만수는 어쩔 수 없이 이 협박성 제안에 승낙하게 되고 양수리 판문점 세트장을 시작으로 강원도 한 산골을 개마고원으로 설정한 후 예전 영화제작에 동원되었던 보조 출연진들을 북한 주민으로 분장시켜 배영감을 위한 북한 방문 프로젝트를 시작한다. 효심 충만한 사채업자는 자신의 오른팔인 성철을 이 기상천외한 프로젝트에 합류 시킨다. 성철은 감시 겸 북한 측 운전수 역할을 맡아 배영감을 위한 북한으로의 여행(?)을 떠나게 된다. 그러나 모든 일이 순조롭게 진행되려던 찰나에 예기치 않은 사건들이 연이어 벌어지고 생각지도 못한 사람들의 등장으로 방북 프로젝트는 점점 꼬여 만 가는데…
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Silk Shoes "

August 18, 2006

This professional review refers to Silk Shoes
If recent films like JSA, Shiri, Taegukgi, and Welcome to Dongmakgol are any indication, North and South Korean relations seem to be an issue not far from the minds of South Korean filmmakers. Director Yeo Kyun-Dong is no exception, as his latest film, Silk Shoes, deals directly with one of the many unfortunate legacies of the Korean War - the untold number of North Koreans who were cut off from there homeland when war broke out.

Vaguely reminiscent of Germany's Goodbye, Lenin! and the more recent Korean revamp, A Bold Family, this 2006 production focuses on one old man's desire to return to North Korea and make peace with the ghosts of his past. The problem is, unfortunately, that when Old Bae (Min Jung-Gi) finally arrives up North, some of the scenery just doesn't look right. Although a lot can change in fifty-plus years, that's actually not the problem. No, the real reason is that he's still in South Korea. He just doesn't know it. How could something like this happen? Well, it turns out the old man has been set up - although in this particular case, it's done with the best of intentions.

Silk Shoes begins by introducing the audience to harried director Park Man-Soo (Choi Duk-Moon, from Antarctic Journal and YMCA Baseball Team. It seems Man-Soo's last film didn't do so well financially, and as if that weren't bad enough, a couple of gangsters show up to collect on the debt. Although Man-Soo tries to explain that he's an artist and therefore isn't the one who handles the money, the gangsters are undeterred. Expecting the worst, Man-Soo eventually comes face-to-face with the big boss man of the organization, who gives our hapless director a chance to make good on the debt. It seems that the gangster has a father afflicted with Alzheimer's and wants nothing more than to fulfill his old man's wish to return to North Korea. One catch: there's no way to travel to North Korea without official permission. So instead of going through the proper legal channels, Man-Soo is ordered to fake a trip to North Korea and take lots of pictures, dressing areas of South Korea to look like his old hometown near Gaema Plateau.

To accomplish this deception, Man-Soo holds auditions and hires actors that he'll use and re-use during the day's trip. It's a difficult task, but "helping" matters is Bae's mental condition. Simply put, he's delusional, often unable to differentiate between fact and fiction. At one point, he has an argument with his dead Korean wife, and consistently mistakes Man-Soo for his own good-for-nothing son. Joining Man-Soo on this journey is Seong Chul (Lee Sung-Min) a stoic, violence-prone gangster and a young Chinese-Korean actress (Kim Da-Hye), who both try to make sure everything runs smoothly. Slowly, but surely, all the players become united in their cause to deliver a satisfying return trip for this one lonely old man.

Although it plays out like a comedy in terms of setup and tone, Silk Shoes has quite a few genuinely touching moments. Unlike some other Korean films, it handles tonal shifts with grace, segueing between the comic and the tragic with a natural ease, a quality that more demanding audiences will likely appreciate. At one point, the senior citizens in old Bae's community mistakenly believe that he and Man-Soo will indeed visit North Korea. Hoping to take advantage of this opportunity, they give VHS tapes, cards, and other messages to Man-Soo in the hopes that he'll pass them along to the family members that these elderly folks left behind. Later in the film, a VHS tape is played which features an old woman speaking of the sister she hasn't seen in years and her desire to someday reunite with her. This brief segment is a real tearjerker (and plays out as if it were authentic, real-life footage), putting a human face on the issue of displaced North Koreans.

Another compelling aspect of the film is its choice of protagonists, as the makers of Silk Shoes go the "unlikely hero" route in casting their leads. At first, Man-Soo and Seong Chul don't seem like special characters, but as a grudging respect develops between them, these two characters begin to come alive, especially when they finally put aside their differences and try to make the old man's dream come true - not because they were forced to, but because of their newfound loyalty to this very sad, sick old man.

While the ending of Silk Shoes is a bit confusing and, in a sense, even unsatisfying, I found that the film had interesting things to say about a ton of issues: the importance of memories, the relationship between fathers and sons, North/South tensions in modern Korea, the blurring line between fact and fiction, and ultimately, the fate of these displaced citizens and the lives they were cut off from in the North. A more commercially-oriented film might have gone for prettier people and a sexier plot, but there's something about Silk Shoes that's undeniably sharp: it's sincere without being naïve, serious without being pretentious, and somehow whole without giving us absolute, reassuring closure. All in all, it's a fine little film.

By Calvin McMillin

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.
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