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[Opinion] Friends

Posted November. 03, 2002 22:43,   

한국어

Movies are popular because they satisfy people’s emotional needs in a relatively short time of about 100 minutes. At the same time, they appear out of date in the high-tech age when things are done in a speedy way. There are things you have to do before watching movies. First, you have to check the time and book tickets for the movie you want. It also takes some time for you to get to the movie theater. Only after this series of arrangements, you will be able to watch the movie. Still, movies are maintaining their appeal to people who tend to change channels every 30 minutes when watching TV at home. What is the secret of this old-fashioned pop culture?

▷It must be because of `he joy of being immersed in something.` We can forget about all our worries while watching a movie in the pitch-dark theater. Plays, musical shows and art exhibitions also make people absorbed in something for a while, but they are costly and less effective in intensity. Young people, in particular, enjoy the process of going to the movies. That’s why movies are sometimes called `art of dreams and hopes`. Movie making, however, strictly sticks to the logics of capitalism in terms of production and marketing. The filmmaking industry is a fierce battleground where the strongest survive. The real world is far from the wonderful new world of love and friendship shown in movies.

▷With billions of won poured into production of a single movie, a box office failure becomes fatal. It is welcoming that homemade movies lure a great number of moviegoers and the idea of `hitting the jackpot` has become a reality. Talented directors and actors are duly treated. And this strong trend has been gaining steam this year. Korean movies are now studied by countries where their local movie industries continue having hard times in competition with Hollywood blockbusters.

▷It is recently reported that director Gwak Kyung-taek and actor Yoo Oh-sung, who leapt into prominence after the success of `Friends,` a box-office hit drawing as many as 8 million nationwide, filed in court a charge against each other. The discord between the two real-life friends is believed to stem from a money problem. We cannot know exactly what happened between the two, but it’s baffling that the couple, who set a new box-office record with `Friends,` are now at daggers drawn to each other. It’s like telling people that the real world of filmmaking is completely different from the world described in movies. The concern is that the feud might throw the damper on the booming movie industry.

Hong Chan-shik, Editorial Writer, chansik@donga.com