May 01, 2009 07:25
What is more interesting about the film "Kitchen" by Hong Ji-young than the material is the way the director deals with it. Here, an adulterous affair is portrayed not as something scandalous or tragic but with humor and optimism.
Hong sidesteps any sweeping moral standards or family values and focuses instead on the emotions of the three actors, asking fundamental questions about love.
"Kitchen" reminds many people of last year's "Antique." Both deal with forbidden love, in the case of "Antique" homosexual love, and both adopt a bright, happy and playful tone. Perhaps that is only natural, since Min Kyu-dong, who directed "Antique" is married to Hong. And indeed, both films were invited to the Berlin International Film Festival, and exported to Japan. "Antique" is released there this week and "Kitchen" on May 30.
"I don't think you can say that new relationships or illicit affairs always start from a deficiency. A new love can come even into the life of a married couple at the peak of their happiness. I wanted to show how it's possible to deal with such a cruel reality in different ways," she says.
The question she asks the audience in the movie is, "Can we make really make a moral judgment about love?" The light tone, then, is distilled from a background of very serious thinking.
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