Rating: 6/10
Year: 2000
Genre: Drama
Director: Daniel Byun
Cast: Lee Jung-Jae, Shim Eun-Ha

According to the tagline of Interview, one of the selling points of this movie is the filmmaker's employment of a Dogme approach to explore the boundary between reality and fantasy.

Apparently this film itself is not Dogma. It is actually about a filmmaker who is shooting Dogma. Eun-seok (Lee Jung-Jae) is making a documentary by interviewing many pairs of lovers. There a woman, Young-hee (Shim Eun-Ha), comes to his heart. Eun-seok interviews Young-hee and gets to love her through his camera. He does not know that she is lying in front of the camera...

Dogma, also known as Dogme, is a very realistic approach of filmmaking. In order for a film to qualify as Dogma, it has to be shot entirely on Digital Video, it should not carry personal message from the director, it should be shot on location with no addition of background music, no professional actors should participate in it, improvisation and the use of animals is encouraged. Judging from the criterion above, this film is certainly not Dogma. Because it features superstars Shim Eun-Ha and Lee Jung-Jae, and the film itself contains heavy use of background music.

Interview is released as a commercial flim in Korea, which I think is quite inappropriate. The editing of this film is outrageously experimental. Scenes are repeated again and again throughout the film. It is very hard for the viewers to trace the timeline of the story accurately. The film begins in the middle of the story unexpectedly , then moves back to the past, suddenly it pushes forward again, and in another shot it brings us to the past without a clue. The episodic narrative structure prohibits us from comprehending the film easily, especially for audiences who are not familiar with the concept of editing, it is almost impossible for them to follow the story without any guidance. I am actually not against the use of montage, but it is a commercial film, the filmmaker should be considerate. The redundant use of montage and weird camera angle are really a letdown. Well, maybe I am not Korean and I have never done any research on the taste of the audience there, but it seems to me that the acceptibility of the audience in Korea is really high. Films like Friend, Il Mare or Interview are all not highly entertaining, to a certain extent, they are more art house based, but they are still well received in the box office. Compared to the situation in Hong Kong where innovative films like In the Mood for Love or You Shoot I Shoot are never able to win the respect they deserve, the distinction is really sharp.

This is the last film of Shim Eun-Ha (It is so sad to hear that she announced her retirement after the production of this film). Again, her performance is remarkable. The only problem is the dance scene. The costume design sucks. It makes Shim Eun Ha look so fat in that red outfit.

Judging it from the perspective of Avant Garde cinema, this film is actually not that horrible. However, I am never a fan of Avant Garde film. I do not enjoy any of the "creative" editing and narrative structure in this film at all. If Shim Eun-Ha is not in it, I am sure I would not pick it up.

VCD (HK version) - This VCD has a poor visual transfer. The image is stretched in a werid way that everyone appears so fat and flat on the screen. Therefore I strongly suggest anyone who wants to see this film to avoid the VCD version. I haven't tried the DVD version and am not sure if it has the same problem. But the most secure way is probably to get the original Korean version...

Cool guy(s) - Shim Eun-Ha

Reviewed by: Kantorates