Winter in Seoul
KOREA / 2018 / Korean / B&W / Digital File / 25 min
Director, Photography, Editing, Producer: Sohn Koo-yong
Music: Yu Tae-young
Narration: Park Ye-ju
Performed by: Nam Kyung-woo
Original Text: Kim Seung-ok “Seoul-1964-Winter”
Source: Sohn Koo-yong
One night, a young man writes in a motel room. Outside, people anonymously cross paths in the cold winter streets of Seoul. A female voice can be heard, as if she is talking about the reticent, mysterious young man. Try to catch her meaning, and it slips quickly away in the rhythmic flow of her words. These slowly come to etch out an unpatterned rhythm with the dark world of street neon and vendors’ stalls, the young man’s movements, and people’s white breath in the cold air.
- This film is an attempt to write a book report, not with a pen but with a camera. In other words, it is a book report written with images and sounds instead of words. The report is based on a 1965 modernist short novel by Kim Seung-ok called “Seoul-1964-Winter.” It is a story of three men who coincidentally meet and spend time together on a winter night in Seoul.
- This film experiments with adaptation as it tries to adapt the feeling and atmosphere of a novel, not its plot. In this context, the images and sounds were employed to function as carriers of non-verbal impressions that exude from “Seoul-1964-Winter.” Additionally, the narration was written by shuffling the words from the original text of the novel, which naturally removed narrative meaning and emphasized the sentiment created from words.
- This film is a portrait of Seoul and its wintery nights. It is especially a portrait of the city’s alienated parts, where small details that no one cares for lie hidden, waiting to be discovered. These vignettes form the film along with scenes of a man in a motel room. The main action of this man, which is writing an unknown text, implies that he is a mediator who connects the audience to the desolate scenery of the city.
Born in 1988 in Seoul, Korea, Sohn has a BA in Media Communication from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and is a candidate for a MFA in Film/Video/New Media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is interested in hybrid forms of filmmaking that blend documentary, fiction, and landscape. His previous work, A Walk (2017), screened at Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland in 2018. He is currently working on his first feature film, Afternoon Landscape.