Honestly, I was skeptical at first when this project was announced. The government was asking people to send in their videos to be assembled into a movie promoting Seoul. I had witnessed so many cheesy heavyhanded endeavors by the government promotional teams over the years. I was expecting sterilized videos highlighting the same old chest-beating culturally masturbatory pabulum that we have seen before.
This was done by powerhouse directors Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) and Park Chan-kyong (Anyangae). This was not as much an exercise in directing as much as it was an exercise in editing and narrative. It’s a warts-and-all love letter to Seoul. It’s also the ballsiest city promotional video I think any city in the world has ever produced. Is this the same Seoul city that only a few years ago wanted to censor Lonely Planet from mentioning the dish budae jjigae because it was “embarrassing?”
This is a gorgeous bleak sad uplifting 60 minutes. So many emotions! I think I’m emotionally biased having lived and worked here for ten years. It’s my city. There were definite moments when I had to get a tissue. And I pumped my fist in the air when Makkolli Man made a surprise cameo. I realized I’ve really gotten to know this city intimately when I identified so many places, even individual subway platforms.
Take a watch. Don’t worry about the length. It’s a video that you can take in chopped up doses. The music holds it together. It has that feeling that Lost In Translation conveyed a bit in modern Tokyo. If Seoul is really serious about promoting itself with this movie, I’m fucking impressed.
Thanks for posting this! Really captures the flavors of the city in all its grit and glory…