June 18, 2020 08:38
Veteran actor Jung Jin-young makes his directorial debut with the movie "Me and Me," which opens in theaters on Thursday.
Jung (55) decided to make his directorial debut about four years ago.
"My son was a high-school senior at the time," Jung recalled. "Until then, the most important thing for me was to be the head of my family, but when my child was all grown up I started wondering who I am. The artist that I dreamed of becoming when I was young was eager to embrace hardship and loneliness, but I seemed to prefer staying in my comfort zone."
The movie focuses on a detective investigating a fire that erupts in a small town. Viewers are in for a surprise if they are expecting a typical crime drama. "I made the movie fully willing to accept mixed reviews," Jung said. The question "Who am I?" resonates throughout the movie.
The detective sees his entire life turn upside down overnight as he tries to reconcile his views of himself with how others perceive him. "There are plenty of talented movie directors out there, so I decided to do something new and odd," Jung said. He described his movie, which is a mix of mystery, comedy and fantasy, as a "black comedy."
A graduate in Korean Literature at Seoul National University, Jung made his film debut in his mid-30s as an accidental last-minute replacement in the 1997 movie "Green Fish" directed by Lee Chang-dong.
"If I'd known I would end up producing a movie, I would have tried to learn more from many directors I've worked with but regrettably I didn't," Jung said. "I jumped at the opportunity without having any idea of what kind of work a director does."
"Me and Me" may not appeal to everyone, but it will certainly entice those who prefer to tread on unfamiliar terrain. "The movie presents a Zen riddle," Jung explained. "I don't want it to be the kind of movie that delivers a lesson at the end but hope it provides food for thought."
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