On a clear spring day, the disciple asked while looking at the tree branches blowing around in the wind. “Master, is that the movement of the tree branches or the movement of the wind?” The master didn’t even look at what the student was pointing at, he said with a smile. “Everything that moves is neither the branches nor the wind, but only your heart.”
Director Kim Jee-woon’s film ‘A Bittersweet Life’ begins with a short prologue in which a male recital is added to a scene of tree branches shaking. How does film sound affect the audio-visual experience of a movie? All sounds and sounds of ‘A Bittersweet Life’ were handled by Korea’s representative audio production Live Tone. Established in 1997, Live Tone has rapidly grown into a global company by handling various projects with famous directors such as Bong Joon-ho and Hong Sang-soo. He worked on more than 250 films, including ‘The Power of Gangwon Province’, ‘Nothing to See’, ‘Peppermint Candy’, ‘Oasis’, ‘Memories of Murder’, ‘The Host’, ‘Haeundae’, ‘Snowpiercer’, ‘The Attorney’, ‘Myeongryang’, and ‘Parasite’. . He also provided an imaginative soundscape for the Netflix series ‘Squid Game’.
Live Tone Studio creates ‘Korean sound’. It means not copying or copying the American sound. While capturing and processing 100% Korean source sound in Korea, it catches up with the aesthetic elements of Hollywood. This is the power of its own sound archive that has already been built.
‘Sweet Life’ is meaningful in that it is the first work produced by Live Tone only with Korean sound sources. The aesthetics of the audio presented by the film provided an alternative pleasure to Hollywood soundtracks. He helped the audience immerse themselves in the stylized and localized audio composition. The Korean noir genre has been glocalized (globalized + localized) so that both domestic and foreign audiences can enjoy it. Fork or chopstick sounds, different footsteps, curtains walking or hitting, writing with pen on paper, answering machine sound, water dripping, kicks and fists, firewood burning, lots of car noise, etc. catch and hear It was evaluated that the sound of Seoul was expressed better than anywhere else in the film. In other words, ‘Korean sound’ powerfully constituted the entire narrative.
Jiyeon Lee and Professor Julian Stringer of Nottingham Trent University in the UK recommend that you listen to the complex and subtle soundtrack of ‘A Bittersweet Life’, which consists of only ‘Korean sounds’, and suggest a discussion on the perspective of ‘acoustic identity’ in Kim Jee-woon’s film.
An international academic conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Film Society was held at Dongguk University Cultural Center on the 26th, co-sponsored by the society, Film Promotion Committee, and Dongguk University Cine Forum. Under the theme of ‘What is film?’, 25 articles were published on the identity of film, genre, technology, international co-production, audience, industry, platform, contemporaneity and future.
Professor Sano Masato of Tohoku University in Japan pays attention to the genre destruction of Korean films. Director Bong Joon-ho’s ‘The Host’ takes the frame of a monster movie genre, but it gets away with the main character Kang Doo’s family’s run away, and home drama, comedy elements, and satire come to the fore. We can see genres excessively deviating, converging, and being destroyed. ‘Memories of Murder’ is also a suspense genre, but Detective Park Doo-man (Song Kang-ho) is the one who twists it. He receives revelations from fortune-tellers and visits the public bath to find a hairless man. It dislocates the form of suspense led by detective Seo Tae-yoon (Kim Sang-kyung) who insists on scientific investigation.
Professor Sano sees this as a meta-genre. It is a higher-level genre that fuses several genres. It means that a critical point of view on the film, that is, an external and transcendent point of view, has been introduced. The monster in ‘The Host’, the serial killer in ‘Memories of Murder’, and the basement dweller in ‘Parasite’ all have a common point of critical position that alludes to Korean society as a whole, which symbolizes Bong’s meta-genre critical consciousness. It is explained that it is revealed as He draws attention in that he classifies representative Korean films into the genre category of ‘Korean Wave films’ and finds the possibility of alternative films in Korean films.
The pandemic has drastically changed the landscape of film distribution and screening. The decline in production was directly related to the crisis in the film industry. In particular, the OTT service caused a rapid change in the screening environment, with the screens of movie theaters extending to homes and individual mobile phone windows around the world. In addition, the development of technology and the transition from film to digital media raise questions about the identity of cinema in this era.
Kim Jong-un, an academic research professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, pointed out, “We need to think about whether the emergence of OTT platforms like Netflix is really a crisis of movies or theaters.” Rather than causing a problem with the nature of the film itself, it disrupted the uniformity of the way the film was screened.
What has hit the theater industry recently is the disease called Corona 19 rather than the OTT platform. ‘City of Sin 2’ proved that if it’s a fun and high-quality movie, audiences always go to the theater. It’s not the way it’s shown that’s the problem, it’s the content. Certainly, there are films whose effect is multiplied only when they are seen on the screen in a theater. Considered one of the best scenes in Korean movies, the scene where Prince Suyang appears in ‘The View’ cannot properly feel the tension unless it is on a wide theater screen. Along with the sound effects that thump the inside of the theater, the overwhelming emotions created until the camera slowly rises from the feet to reveal the face of Grand Prince Suyang linger for a very long time.
Defining the concept of cinema from a technical point of view is now meaningless. Professor Kim insisted that “the main criterion for defining a film should be how it has an aesthetic that sets it apart from other videos.”
The answer can be found in the article of Chenle, CEO of the Chinese video lighting industry.
“Just like the existence of e-books, isn’t a book a book even if its form changes? Movies consumed by online streaming are also movies. I think the short clip video is also a kind of movie. Think back to when the film was born. It was all short clips, right? I don’t know if there will be a short clip movie in the future. Because there is a narrative and a character in a short clip… What audiences want is a story. Poetry, novels, movies, everything is a story. Movies are actually a melting pot that melts everything. Literature, music, dance, art, and even science and technology are all gathered here. So you succeeded. It’s been splendid. It has turned into art. Oh, but I’m about to change again. closed. Just as a person in power who has succeeded in a revolution does not allow others to challenge. Often times, you talk arrogantly, pushing the form of new media over the wall called ‘art’. ‘You are not me. you don’t deserve I’m the only one making a movie?’”
Senior Reporter Kim Shin-seong [email protected]
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