잠 못 드는 밤
Directed by Jang Kun-jae
Grand Prize and Audience Award, 2012 Joenju International Film Festival
Student Critics Award, 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival
A film this precise, natural, and filled with tenderness deserves a poem as a festival review, a bridge of language that reads like five very plain words walking slowly into your heart. No matter whether you’re newlywed, single, or marooned as a rock, SLEEPLESS NIGHT will return a sense of how intimacy at its most basic can be ethical and profoundly romantic.
SLEEPLESS NIGHT captures that mystery, immediacy and promise that sometimes happens during a nocturnal window in time, all while following the everyday routines of a young couple. Husband and wife get by meagerly, wonder if children will rob their love for each other, and fear complacency and petty fights. Highly naturalistic in cinematography and dialogue, the film presents conversations that become the open musings of lovers who feel safe, free of marital role-playing or agenda. Dreams and random chance, a missing bike and shooting stars, unsettle and add a whiff of charm. One of the film’s many achievements is delivering the modesty of uncertainty without losing any of its hauntingness.
The enormity of love in this film accumulates in the small ways two people braid together – bathing, making love, eating, talking. Each encounter with familiarity transcends repetition. No less is their gaze upon each other: level, reasoned, warm – a look that is as exact and measured as the camerawork. The film’s main achievement is the way it builds upon itself until by film’s end a life of hopeful love has been formed before our eyes. –Christina Ree
Cast: Kim Soo-hyeon, Kim Ju-ryoeng