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(LEAD) Filmmaker Shin Suwon says conceived idea of 'Glass Garden' well before 'Madonna'

2017/10/12 18:01

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(ATTN: UPDATES with more details and background in paras 9-16; ADDS photo)

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- "Glass Garden," the opening film for this year's Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), is a Korean mystery fantasy about a hurt and abandoned bioenergetics researcher who takes refuge in a glass garden in the forest to continue her study on artificial blood using a chloroplast.

And things get complicated when an unpublished novelist follows her to her hiding place in hopes of using her story in a novel and makes a shocking discovery.

South Korean filmmaker Shin Suwon speaks during a press conference for "Glass Garden" at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival on Oct. 12, 2017. (Yonhap) South Korean filmmaker Shin Suwon speaks during a press conference for "Glass Garden" at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival on Oct. 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

The film's award-winning director Shin Suwon said on Thursday that she first conceived of the idea of making a film centered on a novelist who encounters a hurt and abandoned woman and "plagiarizes" her whole life story a long time ago.

"I wrote novels for a long time before making films. I always had a desire to cinematize various thoughts that I had at that time," she said during a press conference for "Glass Garden."

   "I conceived the idea of making a film led by a novelist who meets a hurt woman and plagiarizes her entire life story well before making 'Madonna,' but stopped writing the screenplay for the story because I could not develop it that well. And then I began preparing for 'Madonna' and this story for 'Glass Garden' suddenly came up to mind while writing the story of Minna."

   "Madonna," her third feature film, was screened in the Uncertain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

The title role of the film, Minna is a chubby homeless girl who is rushed to a hospital brain-dead after she is brutally gang-raped and beaten.

"There is a Korean word 'Sikmul Ingan' (human vegetable) for such a state, and I thought that's a very interesting term. I've seen an image of a tree that resembles a human before. I thought what if I can make a story of a woman who is reincarnated as a tree after being hurt with her hopes and dreams trampled by the human world."

  

Director Shin Suwon (R) and the main cast members of the "Glass Garden" pose for photos during a press conference for the film on Oct. 12, 2017. (Yonhap) Director Shin Suwon (R) and the main cast members of the "Glass Garden" pose for photos during a press conference for the film on Oct. 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

Shin, however, stressed that although Jae-yeon (Moon Geun-young) is a miserable woman, she wanted to depict her as a person who never gives up her beliefs and eventually makes her dreams come true.

In the film, the novelist Ji-hoon (Kim Tae-hun) plagiarizes another's life story although he accuses a famed senior writer of plagiarism.

"There is nothing new in the world," the director said.

She confided that as a creator she often has ethical worries as well about putting other people's life stories in a movie.

"I sometimes have my own created value stolen by someone else and think that's the way the world goes," she said.

Although it is a mystery-fantasy drama, the film has a good handle on reality.

It touches on difficulties facing Korean scientists and the problem of the former Lee Myung-bak administration's four-river refurbishment project, the 22 trillion won (US$20 billion) project criticized by environmentalists that it could irreversibly damage the environment.

"I received much inspiration from scientists whom I met," she said. "I inserted the four-river project part out of the thought that it has something to do with what Jae-yeon studies, but that is not the main plot."

   The 22nd BIFF runs from Oct. 12 to 21 in the southern South Korean port city of Busan.

A promotional poser for "Glass Garden," provided by LittleBig Pictures. (Yonhap) A promotional poser for "Glass Garden," provided by LittleBig Pictures. (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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