Film of 2010: Breathless

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breathless on paper represents 'the double' in essence as I would also recommend it as the DVD release of 2010 as well. However as a supporter on a minor club I firmly believe in sharing out the silverware.

South Korean cinema consistently punches above its weight and Breathless is the remarkable debut from director Yang Ik-june who also produced, wrote and starred in the film. A winner of many international awards it received a very limited UK release before arriving in retail thanks to Terracotta Distribution. Similarities exist with Tokyo Sonata, my film of 2009 in respect of a twisted family dynamic and the pressures to exist in our modern 'consumer is king' landscape. What happens to those who fall between the cracks? The relationships and families that erode under such demands?

At the core of Breathless is a tale of emotion and unlikely friendship between a school girl and local gangster, the latter played by Ik-june. His own performance is startling and truly tragic yet most plaudits go to Kim Kkobbi as Yoon-hee. It's a remarkable feat and I'd hope an actress to watch out for in the future; apparently she's been busy since Breathless and its no wonder why. These two leads combine to deliver a knock one-two in my film of 2010.

It's worth noting that the DVD release is well worth acquiring. Despite my preference for Blu Ray, Terracotta put together a two disc 'collectors' edition with a run of just 2000 copies I believe. The bonus disc includes interviews, behind the scenes at Rotterdam film festival, footage from the Special Korean screening and much more besides. I suppose all of this content could have been squeezed onto a single DVD but at the compression cost of the main feature, which looks terrific on its solo disc.

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