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Chi-hwa-seon (2002)

Cast: Choi Min-Sik, Choi Min-Sik, Ahn Sung-ki, more...
Director: Im Kwon-Taek, Im Kwon-Taek
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Studio: Kino
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Biopics, Korea
Running Time: 116 min.
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English
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Renowned Korean director Im Kwon-Taek (Chunhyang) tells the story of legendary iconoclastic Chosun Dynasty artist Oh-won (Choi Min-Sik). With little reliable documentation of the artist's life, the director (along with co-writer Kim Young-Oak) used dramatic license to fill in the details of the man's life. Born a peasant named Jang Seung-ub in 1843, the artist used his talents to escape a life of poverty. A wealthy nobleman, Kim Byung-Moon (Ahn Sung-Ki), recognizes Jang's talent, and takes him in at an early age. Master Kim recommends Jang to a respected art teacher, and his career path begins. As a young man, Jang grows in stature for his ability to flawlessly copy well-known Chinese paintings. He also falls in love with a noble's daughter, Mae-Hyang (You Ho-Jeong). Because of the class difference, he can never be with her, and he's heartbroken when she marries another man. This sets him on the path he follows for much of his life -- that of a drunken wanderer. Despite his self-destructive hard drinking, his penchant for consorting with prostitutes, his impoverished background, his refusal to follow anyone's rules, the political turbulence of the times in which he lives, and the fact that he rarely signs his own work, Oh-won rises to prominence as an artist. Director Im shared the Best Director prize (with Paul Thomas Anderson) at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and Chihwaseon was also featured in the 2002 New York Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • A Chi-hwa-seon Slide Show
  • Still Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailers

GreenCine Member Reviews

Seoul of An Artist by squad October 31, 2004 - 9:23 PM PST
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
At first I was thinking that I was watching a great dvd on the artistic process in Oriental style painting. As such I was blown away by the beauty. But this film goes on and on in its examination of a tormented artist in a country that itself was experiencing a good deal of strife during his lifetime. The result is kind of an epic type movie, like "Dr. Zhivago". Once again I finish a Korean film slightly exhausted. "Failan" star, Choi Min-Sik is in the lead role, and his sad-dog face is perfect for the tormented artist. Two other films, "La Belle Noiseuse" and "The Mystery of Picasso" follow the brush-stroke level process of painting in the same way as "Chi-hwa-seon". "Frida" less so, but very similar with the tormented artist during a time of political turmoil. The ending was terrific I thought, going full-circle.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.49)
47 Votes
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