Archive of films Lies / Gojitmal

South Korea
1999, 115 min

Section: New Korean Cinema
Year: 2001


18-year-old secondary-school student Y has decided to lose her virginity. Her friend Woori is in love with a 38-year-old sculptor named J but doesn’t have the courage to make contact with him. Desiring to help her friend, Y calls J to arrange something for Woori. But J’s voice gets Y so excited that she makes a date with him herself. The film depicts J and Y’s passionate, sadomasochistic relationship which eventually grows into a fatal obsession. Director Jang Sun Woo says that after reading the book Tell Me a Lie, banned in Korea shortly thereafter, he didn’t have the slightest desire to turn it into a film and accepted the project only at the insistence of his producer. Most of the sexual practices described in the book were completely foreign to the director. The author of the novel, Jang Jung Il, was sentenced to six months imprisonment for writing Tell Me a Lie. It was Korea’s first case in which an author was prosecuted for pornography. Lies premiered at the Venice IFF in 1999.

About the director

Jang Sun Woo, the well-known enfant terrible of Korean film, is best known as the director of Timeless Bottomless Bad Movie (1997, Critics’ Prize at the Tokyo IFF) and A Petal (1996). He is also responsible for writing the script for most of his films, works which differ widely both in terms of subject matter and directing style. Jang Sun Woo tries not to repeat himself at all costs, and therefore always works with different actors. And if the film is a literary adaptation he chooses the work of a different author. But he bent the rules to make Lies in that he returned to the work of controversial writer Jang Jung Il after having already used another of his works as inspiration for To You, From Me (1994). Selected filmography: The Age of Success (1988), Road to the Way Racetrack (1991), Way to Buddha, awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin IFF in 1993.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: New Korean Cinema
Director: Jang Sun Woo
Screenplay: Jang Sun Woo podle románu Jang Jung Ila Tell Me a Lie/based on the novel Tell Me a Lie by Jang Sung Il
Dir. of Photography: Kim Woo Hyung
Music: Dal Palan
Editor: Park Gok Ji
Producer: Shin Chul
Production: Shincine Communications
Cast: Lee Sang Hyun, Kim Tea Yeon, Jeon Hye Jin, Choi Hyun Joo, Han Kwon Taek

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