Cast: Kwangmin Lee, Woohyun Kim
Official Selection, 2019 BAMcinemaFest
Min Suk visits his girlfriend, Yeon Jae, in New York City, hoping to pick up their young love where they’d left off in Korea a year ago. But Yeon Jae just completed her freshman year in the big city, making her effectively 1000 years his senior. In his brash attempts to catch up, Min Suk rides the fine line between sweet innocence and entitled ignorance – awkwardly falling for all of Yeon Jae’s jokes, and boasting to her about enrolling at Columbia until he discovers you have to actually apply to get in, a scene both hilarious and devastating.
With its elegant black & white urban cinematography, sharp humor, and diaristic narration, SUNRISE/SUNSET calls to mind the doomed romances of Woody Allen or Hong Sang-soo. But where those movies center on knowing, irony-soaked middle-aged men, this film finds Min Suk just discovering, in brief flashes, how truly young he is.
In a breezy 49-minutes, SUNRISE/SUNSET manages to balance playful observation with a genuine melancholy about first love lost. That this film is the debut featurette of director Ougie Pak, makes it all the more exciting.
When his wife announces that God wants her to quit her job, a struggling filmmaker panics.