Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cannes 2013: Soo-Jin Kim Interview

For Seon [The Line] (South Korea) in Cinefondation

How did this idea and project come about?
I wanted to make a movie in the style of a thriller and also a drama; I wanted it to be frightening. In Korea there are many apartment buildings and between two houses there are many things happening. When, like in the film, you see a kid on the stairs you might bring him in [to your apartment] for a few hours. You’d say, “Yes, you can stay here until your mother or father comes back”. In the film, you have a lady looking after a small boy. There were many possibilities with this story between the girl and the boy. The boy in Seon may be small but he might also be strong and the lady wouldn’t, perhaps, be able to defend herself. I wanted to show this idea – an everyday occurrence with darker consequences.

How much does the story reflect your society when it comes to helping others or being very cautious?
When I wrote this story I wanted to explore how much people will help each other. I started to think myself, “Would I help others – like a child, for instance – and how much would I do for them?” When you start wondering about this more and more you believe you can do a lot. But I was still wondering how much the general public would help and I want people to think about that.

I noticed a lot of themes and motifs in the film include the notion of a divide or opposite (like boy/girl, young/old, and door to door neighbours). In relation to that, is there a message in the film about neighbouring states and North and South Korea?
[Laughs] That is very interesting question but I don’t think about that. The space in our film could been seen like that but I hadn’t thought about. I just wanted to make a film about neighbouring peoples. However, you can often see the North/South divide in Korean films. 

Was there any idea about making it a feature? Or would you develop it into a feature in the future?
I didn’t think of making it a feature film but as you mention it I would love to make a feature about neighbours and that relationship. Seon could always be an opening sequence to a film about neighbours.

I was going to ask about your future plans; are there any projects in the pipe-line?
I am writing my next film now (it’ll be a feature). From being here at Cannes I’ve seen a lot and learnt about different countries so it helps with ideas. And from seeing so many other shorts it has made me want to do another short.

What’s it been like being at Cannes, especially in terms of promoting your work?
Being here is a great honour and if I continue to work in films I’ll hopefully have a good chance at coming back to Cannes.  

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