Appreciation can come in many guises. In the viewing room I was in, at the end of BONG Joong-ho's "Mother - 2009"
, there was a quiet, shocked appreciation rippling through the seats.
Before the film had started, the Korean press audience line which snaked through the ticket area and out through the door, buzzed liked a normal main stream audience. Despite it being a 'press audience' people were turning up from all walks of media life, throwing their name cards at the over worked front of house staff trying to prove their industry credentials. The ever growing line was at its peak an hour before the showing. Even after the film had started, desperate audiences were still trying their best to influence the gate keepers. Realizing the dilemma, Barunson staff (the film's production company) and CGV the local theatre let most of us in to stand or sit on steps and rough it out through the rest of the two hours. We were appreciative of it.
Given the reception the film has received from the audiences here and at Cannes the news looks good for Director Bong. Korean film again looks set to be an international buzz word. In addition, Korea may look back, this time at Cannes 2009 as the year that re launched Korean film to the world. CJ have sold Mother and Park Chan-wook
's "Thirst" to large number of international distributors because of Cannes. Already there is interest in a U.S. remake of both films which continue to sell well. As for "Mother - 2009"
, it will almost certainly be a box office smash in its home market when it is released here May 28.
David Oxenbridge (KOFIC)