As the movie industry grows in Korea, so does the number of regular moviegoers. To satisfy this crowd, major studios released a lot of films this summer. The most dominant of them is Disney. Disney has released four blockbusters in previous months such as Aladdin, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Toy Story 4, and Lion King. With Disney’s monopoly, some people might be sick of commercial films. For those who seek a change from this trend, I recommend four films: A Boy and Sungreen, Happy as Lazzaro, The Silence of the Lambs and The Adventure. These are all unique films, different from productions of the major film studio. With spoiler-free reviews, I hope you watch these four amazing movies.?
A Boy and Sungreen
A boy who lives with his mother seeks his father with his best friend. During this journey, he finds great help from others. Most of all, his relationship with his mother and friend grows more profound and solid than before. This film is all about the growth of a child and his identities found from his own making of a family. Even though the boy is under an uncommon circumstance, his thoughts and hardships are common to every adolescent. Through tough situations, the boy gives a meaningful explanation on a path to happiness.
This film by a female director Ahn Ju-young is the future of Korean cinema. Pureness of the atmosphere and directness of the storytelling harmonize with the clear camera movement, creating a beautiful coherent narrative. Many Korean films these days try to squeeze so many different things into one film, ending up with a messy story line. Unlike those films, A Boy and Sungreen starts and ends with the same amicable mood, allowing you to enjoy without any distractions bothering the narrative. This consistency is why the film is exciting and calm at the same time. It is definitely worth watching even though it might seem plain to some viewers.
Happy as Lazzaro
Lazzaro is a kind man who helps everyone in need. He doesn’t require any payment for his labor and is not aware of being used as a tool. His helpful nature leads him to assist Tancredi in a crime, resulting in the destruction of Lazzaro’s village.
This modern fantasy directed by Alice Rohrwacher talks about rural and urban lives and capitalism. Lazzaro, depicted almost like a saint, reveals to the audience the sadness and cruelty of a capitalist system. Other characters such as Tancredi function as an example of everyday people in a capitalist society.
The colors, camera movement, and camera angle are far from skillful, different from blockbuster movies that boast advanced cinematic techniques. The colors are mostly dark and far from vivid. The camera movement is characterized as still. Also, the camera is usually showing a common angle.
However, even with this conventional direction style, this film somehow feels dynamic. A stark contrast in colors between the usual dark tones and the rare bright hues is quite significant. Even when the camera seems static, it constantly shakes, creating an unpredictable perspective even to a movie enthusiast like myself. To put it simply, even with its ordinary style, it is an excitable film.
The Silence of the Lambs
An FBI trainee Clarice Starling is assigned to capture a serial killer. Ambitious to succeed in this task, she seeks help of a captured cannibal and genius psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. This film explores not just the process of the crime investigation but the main character’s covert trauma.
It is almost meaningless to review this film since it is one of the most famous and greatest films in the world, particularly noteworthy for its visual conception of an iconic book character, Hannibal Lecter. The performance of Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling) and Sir Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lecter) is nearly perfect. The Silence of the Lambs is famous for its ultra closeups. Most of scenes only shows the actors’ faces, nothing else. The expressions and the slightest facial movements of the performers become observable, creating compelling cinematic moments that are both impressive and beautiful to watch. Thus, it is the best when it is seen on the big screen, which I highly recommend.
This film is undoubtedly a classic by the legendary director Michelangelo Antonioni. It is the first of this filmmaker’s infamous trilogy on human alienation. In spite of all the reasons that compel you to jump on this adventure, it might be hard for a modern audience to get on with it just yet. This slow paced black and white film differ greatly from most other cinema of today that are quick paced. Also, the script of the film is far from that of the box-office movies. So, if you are willing to put up with a slow paced narrative and a disconnected dialogue to admire beautiful cinematography, watching this film would be a great way to spend an afternoon. For if one witnesses its picturesque scenes on the screen, one might understand its greatness.
These four films will help you to move away from Disney productions. They may?not dazzle your eyes with fascinating action scenes or allow you to meet world-famous movie characters. If you want to take a break from commercial movies in general, I guarantee those recommendations are worth your time.