close-up of man looking at and touching a globe of the worldalr

Save the Green Planet!
(Jigureul jikyeora!)

Screening on Film
Directed by Jang Joon-hwan.
With Shin Ha-kyun, Baek Yun-shik, Hwang Jung-min.
South Korea, 2003, 35mm, color, 118 min.
Korean with English subtitles.

Released the same year as Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, Jang’s debut feature is a brazenly original, genre-twisting sci-fi crime thriller that follows a boyish and possibly mentally unstable young beekeeper and his circus tightrope-walker girlfriend as they kidnap a wealthy industrialist who they believe to be a space alien from the planet Andromeda come to destroy Earth. However improbable the story and scheme, a clear logic and unsettling truth emerges to reveal a larger, albeit ambiguous, agenda at work in Jang’s feverishly intense film. Although Jang has openly pointed as inspiration for Save the Green Planet! to Rob Reiner’s Misery and once-swirling conspiracy theories that Leonardo DiCaprio was an alien, in truth his film itself seems partially to have come from another galaxy to cast an askance gaze at human cruelty and folly. A box-office failure misunderstood during its first release, Save the Green Planet! has gone on to be heralded as a visionary cult classic.

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Of Men and Monsters - The Films of Jang Joon-hwan

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