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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Premiering at the Pusan Film Festival, uncommon gangster drama Cruel Winter Blues brings out both the warmth and futility of human emotions and interactions, contrasted against a frosty and barren environment. Lee Jeong Beom, director of the acclaimed short film "The Leave", is remarkably assured in his debut feature, skillfully twisting a familiar genre with bittersweet sentiments and compelling storytelling. What starts out as a cold and angry revenge tale becomes a story about discovering family and friendship where it is least expected. The simple and beautiful cinematography in Cruel Winter Blues strikingly captures the gray skies, icy fields, and crude small-town beauty that backdrop the story. The film's look takes on a deliberate tinge of rawness to accentuate the realism and roughness of the environment and human emotions. Sol Kyung Gu (Public Enemy) and Jo Han Sun (Now and Forever) give standout performances as a weathered, renewed man and a conflicted junior gangster, respectively. Anchoring the story is veteran actress Na Moon Hee (Crying Fist), whose effortlessly affecting portrayal of the mother provides the core of the film. Read More...

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