Christmas in August

1998 [KOREAN]

Drama / Romance

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 03, 2020 at 08:24 PM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
888.91 MB
1280*688
Korean 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S 3 / 6
1.78 GB
1904*1024
Korean 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S 0 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wjjoo 9 / 10

One of my favorites of all time

I was very happy and at the same time quite surprised by other positive comments written by non-Koreans below. This movie is amazingly heartshaking, and shows very 'sad but warm' view toward life which is typical to Korean people. I thought other foreigners would not understand this delicate feeling and under-rate this quiet film as a boring one, but I was wrong. The attraction of this film might be hard to avoid to foreigners, too. (Even without subtitle...)

I would like to mention some points others have missed. Of course, this film depicts love between a man and a woman. However, the very theme is way beyond that. Actually, it is about time, value of remembrance, and death. In this film, the focus is not on the 'love affair' between two people. As some pointed out, they do not kiss, they do not hug each other, even without holding hands. So love itself is not completed (whether positively or negatively) in the film. Rather, what haunts Jungwon (a leading actor) is his impending death. He's running out of time, he can't hold it, leaving a few behind including his father and of course, Darim (a metermaid). So the problem is how he can face the death and leave something valuable in his short life, not how he can make love with Darim.

This kind of theme sounds very familiar to us. There are lots of movies regarding patients with uncurable disease such as 'Love Story'. However, what makes this film outstanding is the way Jungwon deals his death. He is a loser, but tried to do his best while he's alive, IN A SILENT WAY. He does not tell anybody around him about his death. He hides something in his mind but without rage, hate, vengeance. He just tried to do best while he was alive. This limited communication and obedience to fate is the typical mindset of Koreans and the point most Western people don't understand or at best, misunderstand.

This theme is very effectively expressed by the director of this film (surprisingly, his debut). Some say he's much influenced by Japanese director Ozu Yasujiro, who directed Tokyo Story. Indeed, I remember I read in some magazine that the director himself admitted he was influenced by Ozu. I'm not that knowledged to analyze his style comparing to Ozu's, but they have some in common and some not. Low angle and static camera, especially remind us Ozu's style. But, in terms of theme again, this Korean director seems to have somewhat warmer and hopeful vision.

It is expressed concisely with Jungwon's last photograph. Very well done and really heartbreaking scene, I think. Actually, the director first had the idea of this film when he participated the funeral of a very famous Korean folk singer who died young of mysterious suicide. They say he saw the photograph of the singer at the funeral and thought of a film on death and remembrance. (And possibly hope for the remnants, I think...)

I highly recommend this film to anybody who has deep interest in film art as well as Korean culture. This film, in my opinion, can be rivaled with other movies like Tokyo story, and a sort of American Beauty. It is that great if without language barrier. DVD version is going to be out in the market this February, so it might be a little help for foreigners with English subtitle.

Reviewed by KarzaK 10 / 10

No Movies are Perfect, but this one comes close

This is, without a doubt, one of the most accomplished debut films for any director. The Movie is only 90 minutes long, but manages to say just about everything about life and death. Not much action, and dialogue is minimal, but the movie flows perfectly and demands your attention due to the wonderfully natural feel of everything going on. The performances by the leads are perfection, and even some supporting characters get strong emotional scenes. The movie will be somewhat lost on today's modern audience, but this is one that everyone ought to see.Refreshingly unsentimental and honest, this is on par with Ozu's works.

Scratch my title, this one is perfect!

Reviewed by howard.schumann 10 / 10

A film about death that is an experience of the utmost joy

A photographer in the small city of Gunsan in South Korea learns that he has a terminal illness but downplays the seriousness of it to his family and friends. We never find out the nature of the disease but the main focus of Hur Jin-ho's poignant first film Christmas in August is not his illness. It is the grace in which he conducts his life - his ability to accept what life has in store without remorse. Sadly, it was the final film shot by cinematographer Yoo Young-kil before his death, and the film is dedicated to his memory.

The photographer, Jung-won, is played by Han Suk-kyu, at one time, Korea's most popular star. A handsome man in his early thirties with an infectious laugh, he is so warm and full of vitality that it is difficult to picture him as nearing the end of life. Jung-won owns a small photography shop and lives at home with his hard of hearing father (Goo Shin) and sister (Oh Ji-hye), teaching his dad how to play movies on the VCR, and writing instructions for him to take over his shop if he were to die. As Jung-won goes about the day-to-day business of getting his affairs in order, Dar-im (Shim Eun-ha), a meter reader, comes into his store with an urgent request for some photographic enlargements.

Abrupt and impatient, he treats her with disdain but later apologizes and she becomes a regular customer. Without overt expression of romantic feelings, their relationship develops a growing intimacy. Love is not something they say or do. It is their ground of being, the place where they come from. To protect Dar-im from suffering, Jung-won does not tell her that he has only a short time to live but this does not make the situation any easier for her. Inevitably his increasing absence from the shop causes her to feel betrayed and frustrated to the point where she throws a rock through the shop's window. Although Jung-won's decision to withhold his illness from Dar-im is open to question, it feels organic to his character in the film and is not used simply as a plot device or an excuse for the character to "live life to the fullest" by playing around.

One of the most touching sequences in the film is when an elderly woman returns to his studio to take a memorial photo of herself. Jung-won makes sure the picture is an exact likeness, knowing that soon he will be taking his own picture of remembrance. Christmas in August is an unpretentious film that never resorts to melodrama to make its point. It is about taking pleasure in ordinary moments: riding a bike, sharing a joke, eating ice cream, being thoughtful and considerate, and feeling good about what life has to offer. It is a love story where love means having to say you're sorry. Although there have been many films on the dying process, Christmas in August propels the genre in a new direction and, in the process, offers an unforgettable commentary on the human condition. Incongruously, this film about death is an experience of the utmost joy.

Read more IMDb reviews

5 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment