The other day I was invited as a guest blogger to the Sydney Korean Cultural Office’s Korean film night ‘Cinema on the Park’. The movie shown was Petty Romance (2010), which is a romantic comedy. I hadn’t attended a film night there before, though I had visited the Korean Cultural Office a few times.
Before the film started there was an introduction by film critic Russell Edwards which I really enjoyed and appreciated. The film Petty Romance is about cartoonist Jeong Bae (Lee Sun-Kyun), who is a great cartoonist but is not so good at storytelling and has had his comics constantly rejected by publishing companies. He needs a lot of money quickly in order to save an important family portrait so he decides to enter a competition to design an adult comic. He hires sex columnist Han Da-rim (Choi Gang-Hee) to help him with the story. However, Da-rim is secretly still a virgin. Of course at first they don’t like each other very much but as they continue to work together… and fight each other, feelings start to change.
I really enjoyed this film and it was really fun to watch. Some aspects of the film were quite graphic but it dealt with it really well, switching to animation to show the violence and explicit sexual scenes. This was not a film where the sexuality was used just to titillate, instead sexual talk in the film was humorous, particularly because Da-rim is a virgin who thinks she knows everything about sex. Her first attempts at having a sexual relationship are very funny.
The character of Jeong Bae seemed to be a stereotypical comic artist. He draws so well but loses sight of the overall storyline. Although I do make comics now, I didn’t identify with his character that much, because I’m not really that type of artist. I’ve approached making comics from a completely different way which is of course through blogging and making comics about my own life, rather than fictional characters. For me it was interesting to see a different way of making comics and the struggles artists like that have.
I appreciated watching this film with other people at the film night and laughing alongside others. I know that a lot of people who enjoy Korean movies and dramas often end up watching them by themselves, but watching with lots of other people is much more enjoyable. I really recommend that those who live in Sydney attend a Film Night at the Cultural Office. There are different themes every month and February is love month and named ‘Be My Valentine’. Film nights are on Thursday nights in the Arirang Hall at the Korean Cultural Office (255 Elizabeth Street). It is free entry but you have to book beforehand. Of course there are English subtitles. I always appreciate good English subtitles because I’ve had too many bad experiences with terrible English subtitles when buying DVDs or trying to watch online, so attending a proper film night like this has that benefit.
The other films that will be shown this month are Love Fiction (2012), Planet of Snail (2011), Late Autumn (2010).