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Tale of Cinema (2005)

Geuk jang jeon (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 May 2005 (South Korea)
In Seoul, the paths of two men and one woman intersect and move apart from one another, centering around their love for cinema. A suicidal student meets a young woman who decides to follow ... See full summary »


Sang-soo Hong


Sang-soo Hong
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Kim Sang-kyung ... Kim Dong-soo
Ji-won Uhm ... Choi Young-shil
Ki-woo Lee ... Jeon Sang-won
Kyung-jin Lee Kyung-jin Lee
Kim Myeong Su Kim Myeong Su ... (as Myoeng-su Kim)
Jo Han-Chul ... Boy's Older Brother (as Han-Cheol Jo)
Seung-ah Lee
Moo-Seong Choi Moo-Seong Choi ... Gyeongsang Province PD
Joong-hyeon Bang Joong-hyeon Bang
Seong-Yong Kye Seong-Yong Kye ... Gentle Alumnus
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Moonsu Bang Moonsu Bang
Jung-in Choi Jung-in Choi ... Female Alumni 2
Ju-Yeong Jang Ju-Yeong Jang ... Gentle Classmate's Daughter
Min-Young Min-Young ... Female Alumni 1


In Seoul, the paths of two men and one woman intersect and move apart from one another, centering around their love for cinema. A suicidal student meets a young woman who decides to follow him in his fatal gesture. Coming out of a cinema, Tongsu, an unsuccessful filmmaker, spots a beautiful young woman, and recognizes her : she is the main actress in the film he has just seen. The life of this wavering and distressed young man strangely echoes the one of the young man from the beginning... Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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References Shark Tale (2004) See more »


Music by Johann Strauss Sr.
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User Reviews

A delicate introspectiveness
17 November 2005 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

Hong Sang-soo: Tale of Cinema/keuk jang jeon (South Korea/France/MK2 2005). 90 minutes. No US distributer. Shown at the New York Film Festival, Lincoln Center, October 1 and 2, 2005.

Hong was back for the third time at the New York Film Festival with this appealing self-reflexive look at ineffectual young men who happen to be filmmakers. The first segment is a film about such a man (Lee Kiwoo), who is tall and handsome but directionless. He meets an old girlfriend (Uhm Jiwon) and eventually talks her into committing suicide with him, though the attempt ends comically.

Ten years later, the star, who was also the director, is now famous and ill. His co-star, the girl, is a successful actress. She encounters a classmate of the filmmaker, also handsome, now down on his luck, who claims his story was appropriated in the film, and it seems like it is going to repeat itself as he gloms onto her and they spend a drunken night together.

What's interesting is the way Hong slides from glamorous ennui to comical mediocrity in his meandering New Wave-ish sequences in a brightly lit but tacky urban Korea. Is Seoul really anything like Paris? Perhaps not. But Hong's sweetly melancholy film with its gentle convolutions lingers pleasantly in the mind -- despite the slightly too-easy irony of its finale with the once "suicidal" director now whimpering that he doesn't want to die.

Hong was born in Korea but got a BFA at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and an MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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France | South Korea



Release Date:

27 May 2005 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Tale of Cinema See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea


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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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