Pusan International Film Festival – a retrospective series 3

Next morning we have a fine Korean breakfast with Mi-youn’s parents. Her father grows his own bean sprouts so we had bean sprout soup which was the best I ever tasted. After breakfast I get ready wearing my hip-hop pants green chord top my hair in a high half pony and a pale make-up look. I am spending the morning and some of the afternoon alone as Mi-youn has to go to a wedding. So I head off alone but there is no trouble finding my way back to the festival. It was easy.

My first movie is “The Goal Club”, a Thai film and it was fantastic. The best movie of the whole weekend and the best I’ve seen in a while. These poor Thai boys get involved in an illegal gambling ring and start cheating the system to make more money for themselves. At the end of the movie there is a short blurb about gambling rings and their cost on society.

The move over, I opt for ice-cream for lunch – a smarties mcflurry from Maccas, not as nice as the oreo’s one.

The next movie ins YongSanGun an old 1960s Korean movie about a King in the Chosun period who tries move the grave of his mother who was poisoned and deposed so he can honor her but the court doesn’t allow it. He eventually finds out the truth of his mother’s death and about those who conspired to have her deposed. He orders hundreds to be killed over the matter. The movie was so long and boring but the story itself was interesting. I rushed out as soon as it was over and met Mi-youn. We go straight to see our next session which is short Korean films.

These ones were more abstract and ‘arty’ then the first lot The first one didn’t even have English subtitles so I really missed its point. But mostly it was some Korean guy in New York with a bird cage on his head. The symbolism of this was completely lost on me.

Another one was called ‘Black and White’ and it was two guys who break into a house, get sprung by the father, who is an ex-army man and they have a sword fight in the dark and all die. The point was it was shot in black and white and every so often someone in the film would turn a light on in the house so the scene would go from being mostly black to stark whites. It was quite clever.

Another odd one was a lady who cooked dinner for two, ate alone. We kept getting shots of pictures of her and her husband and then her crying and in the end he is lying dead on the floor with a pencil in his neck. Huh!?? Very strange.

After these films we didn’t hang around for the discussion. Instead we went to check out the souvenirs. They had more stuff than the previous day. I picked out two book markers. Mi-youn was having a hard time deciding. In the end I bought her a book and she bought me this book and some stickers. The book I bought Mi-youn and her gift to me was equal value so it was a fair deal. The volunteers on the stand were very amused to see us buy each other a gift and swap like that. It was a nice ‘feel-good’ idea.

Then it was time to catch the train. We got to the station, picked up the ticket and even had time for a fast-food all-fat burger at Lotteria. Wasn’t I just there??

I left Mi-youn and boarded the train only to be rudely kicked out of my seat (see sour note at back) but in my new seat I got to meet a very nice fighter pilot in the Korean army. A bit cute too but only 22.

The rest of the trip was uneventful except the new man in the seat next to me kept making odd sucking noises. I don’t how or why.

On arriving in Seoul I had no money for a taxi. I tired a couple of bank tellers but apparently my card is “invalid for this service”. In the end I had to walk home. Thankfully its not far and only took 30-40 minutes. Even more thankfully Seoul is pretty safe so I could actually do that.

So that ends my recollection of my trip to the Pusan International Film Festival 2001.

What Fun!

Sour note: Just as my great (almost) weekend closes I have a rotten encounter with a dumb ajoshi. He changed my ticket with his, I don’t know why. But just as its too far to walk back, my car being the opposite end of the train, I realise his ticket ends before mine. I absolutely totally and definitely refuse to get out of this seat. And I hope from now on not to fall for that stupid trick again. And when I got to my new seat there were two girls too scared to talk to a foreigner even when I spoke in Korean. I hope the rest of the trip is better than the start…off we go!!

That is the final instalment of the my travel diary from the PIFF 2001.


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