Legendary Director Yoo Hyeon Mok (Part Two)

A scene from Bun-Rye’s Story (1971)

Yoo Hyeon Mok began his directing career with the 1955 film – The Crossroad. Yoo employed dizzy camera techniques. At the time, he was interested in techniques and editing, not exactly theme. Yoo mentioned that critics appreciated his techniques but did not appreciate the lack of a theme. Despite criticism, Yoo took from the critics the praise of his job as a technician. Yoo would grow and mature. His movies embraced not only his methodical skills as a technician but they embraced more consistent, central themes. He drew upon the adversity of his life and his nation to create haunting, dark works of despair, division, and the inner chasm of adversity. However, no matter how bleak, Yoo’s films reveal that in the end love is what saves us from it all, including ourselves.

It would be erroneous of me to fail to mention that I learned of Yoo because I decided to invest in a wonderful box set of several of his films. Paired with the movie I will be reviewing and sharing with you soon, I found a documentary. How wonderful for me (and anyone else lucky to buy the box set) that a documentary of Yoo with English subtitles is available on the same disc. The information that I have shared of Yoo paraphrases and uses some direct language within the documentary. The documentary provides actual footage of Aimless Bullet and Son of A Man. Through these clips, this documentary, and watching Forever With You, I can see the importance of this man’s contributions – not only to the Korean Film Industry and nation but to the world. There is lots of information that I chose not to share from the documentary because this would not be fair to the filmmakers. However, I have shared enough to hope that you will seek out Mok’s films and certainly, this documentary, available on a collection set of his films. I found this set on YesAsia.com for purchase.


Sadly, we lost Yoo Hyeon Mok in 2009. It is my honor to pay tribute to this fine individual. Thank you! Kahmsahamnida, Seonsaeng-nim (Thank you, Teacher)!

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