I Am Looking for a Bride
(Yeojaleul chajseubnida)

Screening on Film
Directed by Ha Gil-Jong.
With Ha Jae-Young, Yoon Mi-Ra, Seo Na-Mi.
South Korea, 1976, 35mm, color, 100 min.
Korean with English subtitles .
Print source: Korean Film Archive

The surprise commercial success of March of Fools encouraged Ha to deliberately attempt a popular genre film, a romantic comedy about a naïve young country bumpkin who travels to Seoul in a hopelessly idealized search for a sophisticated urban bride. After confusing and unsuccessful encounters with several attractive Seoulites, the young hick meets but instinctually resists a country girl, accelerating Ha’s satire of Korea’s industrial urbanization and the unyielding class stratification that was its most lasting result. Unjustly forgotten, I Am Looking for a Bride is a fascinating minor work that exemplifies the new pressures placed on popular genre formulas by Korea’s first generation of self-declared auteurs. The film’s opening sequence is stunning, a lyrical documentary sequence shot on and around the campus of Ehwa Woman’s University that reveals Ha’s deep interest in the kind of docu-fiction pioneered by the Italian neo-realists he so revered.

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Ha Gil-Jong and the Revitalization of the Korean Cinema

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