Green Fish
(Chorok mulkogi)

Screening on Film
Directed by Lee Chang-dong .
With Han Suk-kyu, Shim Hye-jin, Moon Sung-keun.
South Korea, 1997, 35mm, color, 142 min.
Korean with English subtitles.

The narrative of Green Fish will be familiar to fans of the gangster and film noir genres: a young man from the streets falls in with local mobsters and makes the mistake of having an affair with the boss’ girlfriend. While Lee relies on some familiar genre ingredients for his plot, he recasts these elements as a stinging rebuke of a society that has replaced community with competition and happiness with greed and ambition. With its beauty and melancholy, Green Fish may be closest in spirit to the work of the filmmaker Lee counts as an early influence: Hou Hsiao-hsien.

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A Rough Transcendence: The Films of Lee Chang-dong

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