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Woman is the Future of Man?
APRIL 27, 2004 21:17 by Seung-Jae Lee ( sjda@donga.com)
 
The Woman뭩 Past

밯hy are you late? (Heon-joon)

밒 was dragged to a motel (by an upperclassman). I was raped there. (Seon-hwa)

밳ou can only become clean again by having sex with me. You know that, right? (Heon-joon)

밒 want to be clean. Make me clean. (Seon-hwa)

Sung Hyun-ah: I don뭪 want to deny my past and say, 밒 didn뭪 do it. Even the book of nude photos. I want to brush it all away with this movie: my past, people뭩 prejudices, everything that followed me around for years like a tag. This movie allowed me to channel positive energy from the director and my costars.

Hong Sang-soo: I hit it off with Sung Hyun-ah. It wasn뭪 so much her acting ability or her existing image, but her passion뾥er desire to find something new through this movie I could sense her real personality, not her public one as an actress.

The Everyday

밳ou have hairy legs. (Moon-ho, postcoital)

밒 do뾋 haven뭪 shaved in a while. (Seon-hwa)

밢h So women shave their legs뀛 (Moon-ho)

Hong: The movie takes a good hard look at the fictitiousness of our beliefs through the act of sex. Heon-joon is bound by his conceptions of chastity, whereas his underclassman Moon-ho is engrossed by the body, saying stupid things like, 밢h, you got a new hairstyle, 밳our moans are so pretty, 밳ou have hair on your legs. I find that contrast amusing. For me, sex scenes are never just 밶ction; they뭨e a 뱎iece of the puzzle, embedded with conversation or conflict.

Sung: You know, like when you go on a group blind date in college. A speck of pepper in the guy뭩 teeth can gross you out. I think that뭩 what being young is. Being freaked out by leg hair, and deciding to break up because of it.

(In fact, director Hong instructed Sung to drink soju, sleep on the set, and start shooting as soon as she awoke, complete with the inevitable puffy face and husky voice. 밫he director told me that the heroine of a movie can뭪 always wake up pristine and beautiful, Sung laughingly remarked, 뱇ike Vivien Leigh, stretching and chirping, 멇h, that was nice.뮅)

Woman is the Future of Man

밯hat did I say? Didn뭪 I tell you not to do that? (at Moon-ho, as he gropes under her skirt)

밒 honestly didn뭪 hear you. (Moon-ho)

밠en are all the same. I might really have gone to bed with you if you뭗 just held me. (Seon-hwa)

Hong: The title is overly conclusive. But no matter how many times I hear that phrase, it leaves me dazed and unconvinced. I was interested in that sense of divergence.

The title doesn뭪 necessarily have to explain the movie, right? So what, if you say, 밯oman is the future of man봾? I don뭪 decide on a clear message, and then come up with the appropriate details to convey that message. I work the other way around: the 뱎ieces (details) come to me first, and I assemble them into a whole. I only realize, 밢h, so that was what I wanted to express, after I뭭e seen the audience뭩 reaction. You love your own children (movies), of course, but usually it뭩 the teachers and friends that give you the more objective description of their personalities.

Sung: Are men vulgar? No, I think they뭨e really adorable. I find their misguided bravado kind of cute, like when Heon-joon asks Seon-hwa to forgive him and says, 밄urn me (with your cigarette). Men as animals are true to their feelings. In the movie, two men suddenly remember a woman from their mutual past while drinking, and spontaneously go looking for her. And the woman takes these men into her arms and her bed. A woman like that뾵hether she뭩 of the past or of what뭩 to come뾠an be the 밼uture of man. Men should remember, though, that the 밼uture is not always going to be a happy one.

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