Archive of films Merry Christmas Mr. Mo / Merry Christmas Mr. Mo
2016, 101 min
Section: Variety Critics’ Choice
A droll comic drama filmed in glorious widescreen black-and-white, this lovely tale follows a terminally ill barber (Gi Ju-bong) whose dying wish is to make a short film directed by his distant son. The offbeat crowd-pleaser will move many viewers to tears by the time Mr. Mo’s task is completed.
A droll comic drama filmed in glorious widescreen black-and-white, Merry Christmas Mr. Mo follows a terminally ill barber (played by distinguished character actor Gi Ju-bong) whose dying wish is to make a short film directed by his distant son. What might have been a mawkish exercise in implausibility is instead fashioned into a consistently amusing and frequently touching tale of love, family and reconciliation with the past. Played to deadpan perfection by an appealing cast and directed with impressive assurance by first-time feature helmer Lim Dae-hyung, this is a lovely tale that channels the spirit of early Jim Jarmusch films such as Stranger Than Paradise into its ultra low-key humor, dialogue non-sequiturs and loving monochrome photography of notionally unremarkable locations. Without ever succumbing to sentimentality, this offbeat crowd-pleaser will also move many viewers to tears by the time Mr. Mo’s task is completed.
About the director
Lim Dae-hyung (b. 1986, South Korea) is a writer-director just starting out. He graduated in film and theater from Hanyang University in Seoul. He has scripted and shot two shorts, Lemon Time (2013) and The World of IF (2014). Merry Christmas Mr. Mo, screened to accolades at the IFFs in Busan and Buenos Aires, is his feature debut. The director commented on his subtle and sophisticated tragicomedy: “I wished to restore a certain period of time and space from our past. I intended to return some of the essential human emotions back to where they used to be, which are discarded as something outdated and sentimental in today’s society.”
About the film
Black & white, DCP
|Section:||Variety Critics’ Choice|
|Dir. of Photography:||Moon Myung-hwan|
|Art Director:||Sin Woo-jung|
|Cast:||Gi Ju-bong, Oh Jung-hwan, Go Won-hee|