North American Premiere
Q&A with director Shin Yeon-shick following July 1 screening
Rough. Raw. Real. The Kim Ki-duk school of filmmaking has given us several great projects produced and written by Kim and directed by young filmmakers: Poongsan, Bedevilled, and now we have Rough Cut’s spiritual successor in Rough Play. The film opens with crazed actor Oh Yeong (K-Pop idol Lee Joon playing totally against type) dragging a mannequin up the stairs of a department store and spouting some rather menacing dialogue. Intercut with this is a stage performance from early in his career where Oh takes his performance a bit too far and threatens the actress he’s doing a scene with. The rest of the film expands outward from these two moments and shows Oh’s rise and violent fall under the influence of mobbish manager Kim Jang-ho (Seo Bum-suk). Lee Joon is absolutely captivating in a performance that is all about the destruction that narcissism and rampant ego can bring. He lets it all hang out and embodies Oh’s (literally) insane dedication to his craft. A darker than dark take on the Korean film industry, Rough Play rails against the apathy of a business wholly concerned with appearance and that gives no long-term thought to the future. Presented with the support of the Korea Society.