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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
This movie could be a bit boring for some people, but I find this film
very interesting in terms of an attempt to reveal a tradition.
The director, Lim, has made two films about traditional music in Korea before this film. The film before this one was showing the music throughout the film, and this film is trying to achieve similar things by having backgrounds in the movie just like a painting.
Another thing is that, the story is written by both director and a philosopher, Kim who is well known scholar in Korea (holding a lot of degrees - including doctor at Havard) I'm not saying that educated people make better films but that philosopher is an expert in traditional culture in Korea, so it gives more credit on this film.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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