This is the first film directed by Lee Chang-dong, whom I consider to be one of the world's best directors. Oasis, his third film, was the first of his works that I saw. Later I watched Peppermint Candy, his second film, on DVD. Last fall I got to see Secret Sunshine at the Film Society of New York's press screening prior to it showing at the New York Film Festival.
All three are brilliant, as the many awards they have garnered attest. (In a remotely just world, Secret Sunshine, which was South Korea's submission, would have at least been a best foreign picture nominee at this year's Oscars. But we all know what are farce that category usually tends to be, don't we.)
A former high-school teacher and novelist, Director Lee was almost 40 years old when he began working in cinema as a writer on Park Kwang-su's To the Starry Island (1993 ). Though his oeuvre consists only of four films, I think that he's as accomplished as many of the world's greatest filmmakers.
Green Fish is the one film by him that I have not yet seen, so I'm especially looking forward to tomorrow night's screening at The Korea Society at 6:30 pm.
The film is about Makdong (Han Seongk-kyu), a young man who returns to his small hometown after serving two years of mandatory military service. Finding it vastly changed in the interval, and being jobless, broke, and unable to find work, he heads to Seoul where he enters the world of organized crime.
For more information about tomorrow's screening, or to order tickets, click here.