The 2012 Korean Cinema Blogathon started today, but even though Korean Indie is all about music we won’t let that stop us from participating in something as fun as a blogathon! We’ve got a whole week in front of us, taking on Korean cinema from a few different angles.
Romantic melodrama Drifting Away (꼭 껴안고 눈물 핑) was directed by Kim Dong Won, perhaps best known for his 2002 movie Bet On My Disco (해적, 디스코왕 되다). Former UP member Lee Kyun is the male lead of Drifting Away, with Go Joon Hee starring as his ‘second first love’ and Shin Dong Mi acting the part of his wife. However my reason for watching the movie was to see how much of Apollo 18 could be spotted.
When the movie was shot in 2009, the owner of Salon Badabie was asked for a band that’d be good to include in the movie and as a result Apollo 18 can be spotted playing at Badabie with gutarist Choi Hyunseok also taking on the part as Go Joon Hee’s older brother. After two days of filming in the heat the result is fairly modest, but it’s not long before Choi Hyunseok can be spotted lying passed out on the floor by his guitar while his supposed sister does some needlework lying on top of the bed.
Not much later we get to see Lee Kyun and Go Joon He head to Badabie where Apollo 18 are in the middle of performing “High Stepper”. The happy couple shares a length make out scene which is aborted as it turns out Apollo 18 are out somewhere being much too drunk–bassist Kim Daeinn standing up on wobbly feet while drummer Lee Sangyun sits passed out on a bench with Hyunseok lying over him. As Lee Kyun carries Hyunseok home that’s the last we get to see of Apollo 18, but the film does return to Badabie for a poetry night during which the owner can be spotted in the audience.
Drifting Away had it’s theatrical release on March 10th 2011 with the DVD release following in November. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles, but even though I missed out on the exact contents of the dialogues it was still fairly easy to follow what went on. There wasn’t much to like about the story of the cheating husband itself and the cinematography alone is not enough to carry the movie. Nonetheless, as a fan of Apollo 18 those 78 minutes during which the film lasted were not a complete waste. Even though my personal Apollo 18 favorite song “Warm”, which they were also filmed performing for the movie, did not make the cut.
On the theme of music I should mention that the score for the most part was not super exciting, but not so bad as to take anything away from the movie. “High Stepper” was quite the contrast to just about everything else in there, so I really think “Warm” would’ve been a better fit. But then again “Warm” doesn’t have the same super high rock enery the scene to “High Stepper” portrayed, so perhaps it was for the better even if it seemed a bit random.
As for Apollo 18’s acting capabilities, apart from being an awesome live band in a small club (which is not as much acting as Apollo 18 just being their own glorious selves) them acting drunk wasn’t much worse or better than any other acting the movie had to offer.
Hyunseok we only really got to see passed out on a couple of occasion which looked simple enough, even though I heard it was quite the effort to get the scene where he’s carried home right. Daeinn and Sangyun got some more freedom to move around and interact with the main characters when they came to pick up Hyunseok. Daeinn’s initial wobbling seemed more like somebody sober acting drunk, whereas his greeting to Go Joon Hee came off as more authentic and lifted his performance. Sangyun made a convincing drunken belly rub and after getting on his feet did well acting confused. In the end a good effort from all.