2009년 5월 14일 목요일

(AUGUST2006) Korean Cinema Issue

A day at the filming site of the new work "Virgin Snow"

Hearing that Lee Junki is in Kyoto filming the new work "Virgin Snow", we immediately set out to the site!! 14th Oct, a sunny day. We bring you to the scene site that borrows the fading greenery, the coming of early autumn in Kyoto.

The talk of the topic is the joint Korean-Japan movie "Virgin Snow" which both Lee Junki and Miyazaki Aoi co-star in. This movie is about the love story that surpasses nationality between Min (Junki) who came to Japan due to his father's work as a pottery craftsman and Nanae (Miyazaki) who entered the same high school as Min. The filming site of such love story that is collaborated between Korean and Japanese young talents is in Kyoto itself?! Such wonder is unnecessary! Now to the scene site that we went!

One of the scene locations that day was in a cuisine shop serving freshwater trout called "Heinoya", in Saga-Toriimoto. This was the scene where Min seeks help from his classmate, Koshima (Shioya Shun), to find him a part-time job as he wanted to buy a gift for Nanae. Under the scorching sun, the casual-fashion-sensed Junki, wore cap and jeans, stood in front of a Warabuki-era-roofed cuisine shop with hands on his waist, in the a midst of a make-up and preparation session. With the filming scheduled at 8am that day and the Tokyo International Film Festival (that lasted till 2pm) which Junki had attended the previous day, he looked tired due to lack of sleep. While worrying over him, the director shouted "Action!" and instantly Junki's facial expression changed. Speaking in a perfect mix of Korean and Japanese lines, Junki and Shioya Shun conversed naturally for that scene. Indeed a star, Lee Junki is! After the filming of this scene ended, Junki and Shioya Shun hugged as a gesture of bidding goodbye to each other. Junki moved on to the next scene site.

It was time for lunch break. Not long after, I realized that it was already past 2 pm. Having endured through the hottest time of the day, we came now to a famous place of interest – the bamboo forest of Sagano. The place was teeming with many foreign visitors as well as their families. This site is the dating place for Min and Nanae. With Miyazaki around, the atmosphere seemed to get better. Even Junki seems to be happy. And so the filming started. The scene with Min and Nanae holding hands while walking through the bamboo forest had several NGs due to the rumbling sounds of trains nearby. Despite having to go to and fro in the bamboo forest 10 times, both remained energetic. Even during the waiting intervals, both appeared to be chatting happily, maintaining a trusting relationship. Coupled with the backdrop of a dreamy forest with sunlight filtering through the leaves, their smiles became even more prominent.

From 5pm, the scene site shifted to a studio. Two separate scenes – the scene of Min coming back home from school and asking his father to teach him pottery and the scene where he receives a phone call from his friend and learns that his grandma has collapsed – in a set which was Min's house. After wrestling with a tough scene with Min talking on the phone (with no one on the other side of the line), Junki forsaken his rest time for an interview with us. After which, he changed clothes and was on the move to the next scene site. Despite the hard schedule with no rest time in between, filming for that day progressed smoothly.

During the waiting intervals, Miyazaki had a Korean Language book in her hands and was chatting with the staff while Junki and the Director were conversing. Interaction in Korean and Japanese languages made the atmosphere at the scene site a harmonious one. I was touched by the fact that such story about pure love that surpasses nationality was made by a group of people who also surpassed their difference in nationality and come together, bonded as one. Anyway, thanks to Junki for the hard work put in. I'm so looking forward to the movie.

“I don’t have the experience of gazing captivatingly at people.”

“Kyoto is a very peaceful place and because of this I am able to feel relax while filming. It’s a pity that I don’t have much chance of interacting with people in Kyoto due to my busy schedule. Nevertheless, I can feel their warm hearts”, said Junki who seems to like Kyoto a lot. Regarding his character, Min, “Initially, I thought I’ll have to act boyish. But because Min and I are of the same age and thus we both share the same carefree attitude, I find it easy to immerse myself in this character. As it requires role-playing skills, Junki is determined to ensure that he strongly feels and reacts like the way Min will feel and react to the surrounding environment.

I wanted to see Min’s maturation from a boy to an adult”, said Junki with a determined look. He intends to follow his usual acting style. Even at the scene site, Han San Bi, the director who debuts in this movie and Junki exchanged a lot of thoughts and ideas. “I was not close with Han San Bi Director so I thought to myself that I have to ease our discussion. Thus, two months before the filming, I met up with the director and we discussed on various issues. Because of that, it became easier to discuss with the director on the scene site.”

The story started with Min gazing at Nanae at a public site. “Though I think there are bound to be gazing scenes which are meant to captivate my companion’s attention, I do not have the experience of doing it. Will the companion come to like it when she knows about this, I wonder. Nevertheless, in order to pull off as Min, I must learn in a less direct way of making a captivating gaze at someone. Miyazaki san is the best at this. Please don’t ask me why!” Junki who was laughing at his own comments is so cute! As such, what is Junki’s, no, Min’s impression of Nanae played by Miyazaki Aoi? Initially, my impression of her is her cuteness instead of prettiness. But after knowing her, I feel that she is a more calm and mature person of her age”, said Junki. Could it be because of the barrier of his stance? “Because I’m a guy, I take the initiative to start the conversation. Initially, I used body language while conversing. But after that, I spoke in Japanese while Miyazaki san learnt Korean and the filming site became really interesting.” A change of topic, Junki who successfully finished the filming has become good at Japanese. So we asked him what his favorite Japanese word is. “I must work hard while I’m still young.” To fulfill his dream as an actor, he set off to Seoul alone, participated in countless auditions and lived through the toughest period of his life. Fortunately, “The King and The Clown” became a big hit. Despite such success, “I will like to continue to challenge new things”, said Junki with eyes filled with hope and conviction. When the interview (which Junki accepted despite of tiredness) was over, I was surprised by his politeness when he said “Thanks for the hard work” and gave a deep bow. The 24-year old young man with an innocent smile and a pair of sincere eyes of an adult man and a fair complexion…I certainly was mesmerized by his cross-gender beauty. (laughs)

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