7.3/10
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Painted Fire (2002)

Chihwaseon (original title)
In a time of political and social unrest in nineteenth-century Korea, an uncouth, self-taught painter explores his natural talent amidst the repressive world around him.

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6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Kim Byung-Moon (as Sung-kee Ahn)
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So-woon
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Storyline

The struggles of an artist. Jang Seung-up (1843-1897), also called Owon, focusing on the years 1882 to 1897, when Korea was in political upheaval, caught between China and Japan, the conservative dynasty dying, and peasant revolt at hand. Jang, born poor, has genius; a merchant, Kim, becomes his patron, finding him a teacher. Jang must convince others that a commoner can have talent, then move beyond his ability to copy old masters and find his own style. He's bedeviled by a temper and alcohol, arguments with patrons as he seeks commissions, and relationships with kisaeng, particularly Mae-hyang, that start and stop. It's the life of a restless spirit producing great art. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

korea | spirit | peasant | kisaeng | japan | See All (183) »

Taglines:

The Life of Painter Jang Seung-up


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 May 2002 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Painted Fire  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,302, 16 February 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$59,413, 22 June 2003
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Chosen by "Telerama" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#10) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic
3 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Not sure why the other comment on this film was so negative, but I loved this movie. I am a student of Asian art with a particular love of Korean art, culture and history. I thought this movie borough a very controversial and interesting character to life. Jang Seung-up is one of the (maybe the most) famous Korean artist and continues to be revered as a master. Given the tumult of the time in which he painted and his own conflicted nature, it is amazing that he produced so much work, in so many styles and with such skill. This movie honors his talent while taking a direct look at his erratic and somewhat self-destructive personality. The cinematography in MY opinion was beautiful, many of the outdoor panoramic shots looked like Korean landscape paintings (which I found a lovely conceit rather than "overly arty") and I think that Choi Min-sik portrayed Jang Seun-up with a necessary intensity and unpredictability. I would highly recommend this film to art lovers and movie lovers alike.


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