ND/NF Discovery: Lee Kwang-kuk’s “Romance Joe” (South Korea)

Posted by Michael Gibbons on 3.22.2012

Romance Joe

One of the discoveries of New Directors/New Films this year is Lee Kwang-kuk's Romance Joe. Melissa Anderson of Village Voice praises it as "a witty debut of three time-toggling, interlocking sagas involving suicidal directors and actresses." Highlighting it as one of the stand outs of the festival, she wrties, "Romance Joe impresses not only with its complex stories nesting within stories—labyrinthine plotting that eventually makes sense—but also an emotional heft that's never diminished by the narrative gambit."

Romance Joe screens Saturday (March 24) and Monday (March 26) - buy your tickets now!

Describe your film to someone who hasn't seen it.
The film itself and the ending are unpredictable while you're watching. This film is also open to a variety of interpretations depending on who watches it.

If you could work with any artist alive, who would it be and why?
If I could, I would really wish to meet Woody Allen. I admire his films and his bearing as a person who creates.

What are you most excited to do while you're in NYC?
New York is the city of Woody Allen for me. I hope I get to meet him, if even by chance or coincidence.

From what types of art, other than film, do you draw inspiration?
I seem to get much inspiration from classic novels. I love them as well as the characters in them. Don Quixote is one of my favorites.

Do you have any rituals or rules for yourself while you're working on a film?
When I'm on set for filming, I try to find the details that aren't specified on the pages of the script. There's a pleasure in finding those things, but I think they also make the film that much more rich and full.

Which parts of the filmmaking process do you enjoy the most? The least?
It's the best kind of joy when the actor and I understand each other and the scene comes together nicely.

What was the biggest surprise you had while making your film?
I think it's fascinating that something that didn't exist can be born into a film. Equally so is that this film can then encounter audiences and communicate with them.

Romance Joe screens Saturday (March 24) and Monday (March 26) - buy your tickets now! Special thanks to Ernest Woo for the translation.

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