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Park Chan Wook's Night Fishing

At the San Diego Asian Film Festival there was back-to-back shorts showcase of Bong Joon Ho's Influenza and Park Chan Wook's Night Fishing.

Night Fishing was entirely shot on the Apple iPhone 4 which means Park has to put in more creativity and possibly effort. Park always blurs the lines with death and reality and once again he mixes the two together. this short film is a eloquent ghost story about fisherman (Oh Kwang-rok) who goes into the depths of the woods for a weekend trip only to capture a dead body in the river. The corpse is played by none other than Lee Jung Hyun (YES, THAT LEE JUNG HYUN) who floats between the dead and living worlds.

The short film leaves a lot for the audiences to piece together this puzzle. but what ensues when the audiences finally gets it is wonderment and a transcendent experience. as a korean american i am a newb to the traditional korean funeral ceremony and watching the odd and peculiar ceremony is intimidating and powerful in its rituals. the picture exudes an eerie, atmospheric, ethereal feeling that seeps into the viewer's soul that allows them to feel the sorrow of the fisherman. its a beautiful short film that was almost unexpected from Park Chan Wook's usual violent blood-baths. in retrospect it is invigorating and surprising but at that moment i almost wanted it to be Park's usual good guy vs. bad guy routine. I always expect the best out of Park Chan-wook and considering that Night Fishing was completely not what i had expected and in that aspect, it can be seen as a masterpiece. He didn't get comfortable and instead surprised his fans by telling a story that was modest and very comedic. Night Fishing transcended beyond his usual filmic traits and our expectations and gave birth to an unprecedented piece of work that juggles the boundaries of life and death. A




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