Yang Ik-june's Intense Life Makes for an Intense Film

Yang Ik-june Yang Ik-june

"Breathless," which has won eight trophies at six international film festivals, is so intense throughout that viewers find it hard to take their eyes off it. The film's director Yang Ik-june, the 34-year-old star of the Korean independent movie world, is just as intense.

"Breathless" vividly depicts domestic violence and abusive language, but nobody can really call the film brutal. "Breathless" is Yang's debut film, and is based, he says, on his direct and indirect experiences.

"Since I was in second year in middle school, I drank alcohol and smoked, and I even sniffed glue. I didn't want to stay at home, so I was always wandering around in the streets," he said. But that wayward youth laid the groundwork for "Breathless."

"I've been in the film industry since the age of 26, but I didn't have any dream or plan," Yang says. But his first short film "Always Behind You" won an audience award at the Seoul Independent Film Festival in 2005, and that was when he started to get the attention of the film world. "Everything I learned about directing came from watching directors work while I was acting," said Yang.

At the end of the interview, Yang said, "I feel as if I'm in puberty right now. I get so easily influenced by anything." "Breathless" contained everything he accumulated in his rollercoaster life, and that is probably why the film is so intense.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 10, 2009 08:01 KST