Tale of Cinema (2005) - full transcript

In Seoul, the paths of two men and one woman intersect and move apart from one another, centering around their love for cinema. A suicidal student meets a young woman who decides to follow him in his fatal gesture. Coming out of a cinema, Tongsu, an unsuccessful filmmaker, spots a beautiful young woman, and recognizes her : she is the main actress in the film he has just seen. The life of this wavering and distressed young man strangely echoes the one of the young man from the beginning...

Photography and Lighting
KIM Hyungkoo, KIM Young Rho

Thank you. Thank you.
Screenplay & Direction
HONG Sangsoo

It's a wise choice.

And It's cheaper here.

It's good to get back to the guitar.
You played bass, didn't you?

It's beautiful.

Your exams are over.
Let's go walking in the mountains.

I don't know.

Keep me posted.

That's typical!

Just say you don't want to come.

Instead of dodging the issue.

It's not that.

Let's go then.
Is walking fun?

Forget it. We'll see.

It's not like before.

You see too many unemployed people,
It's not nice.

Which way are you going?

That way.


- It's too much.
- Take it.

You're having a tough year.

See you at mom's on Sunday.

Thanks, big brother.

Take care.

I made a detour
to avoid going with my brother..

He had given me 200,000 wons.

For once, I was planning

to spend it all.

Do you work here?

Yes, It's my uncle's shop.

How long has it been?

It's been two years, hasn't it?

I'm so happy to see you!

You don't go to school anymore?

I'll study again later.

You haven't changed.
Still good-looking.

I have to go back in.

Go on then.

What about you?
What are you doing?

What if I invited you
to a smart restaurant?

To celebrate our reunion.

You're serious? I finish at seven.
Does that suit you?

You'll come back?
You can?

You work that late?

I'm paid to.

I wasn't sure I wanted to wait.

I decided to take a walk,
I'd see later..

We haven't eaten for two days.

Will you give me rice for my son?

You again!

When you beg, be polite
and don't stir up trouble!

Take this.

Thank you. Thank you.

Chansong, It's rice. Eat it.

I want some sugared water.
Keep the rice for yourself.

I'm not hungry. Eat.

What's the matter?

- Mom!
- Why?

Mom! I want sugared water.


What's wrong, my baby?

My son Is sick.
My son Is sick.

It's typhus!

Chansong, say: mom.

Say: mom!


Yongsil had waited for me.

We decided to go to a bar
instead of going to eat.

I felt like smoking.
I bought some cigarettes.

Personally...I didn't think
I'd see you again, Sangwon.

Me neither..

It's so strange and unexpected.

Are you mad at me?
Are you mad at me, Sangwon?

Answer. Tell me the truth.

Give that back, It's my glass.
Drink from your own.

Stop it.

We had realized one day
we were drawn to each other..

But things weren't possible
between us.

She was going out
with one of my friends,

so I gave her up.

We'll end up doing something stupid.

Do you want me...
to be your mistress?

Very funny!

Don't laugh, please.

Do you want me to be your mistress?

Later, if we live apart
if, when I think of the past

I can still tell myself that it was love
That will be enough for me

Now I know
a love that is too deep

Comes to an unhappy end

I shall pray, my love
for my next love

To be different from ours
And so know no suffering

We had obtained permission
to stay out all night.

I was embarassed to hear Yongsil
lie so well on the phone.

Personally, I probably overdid it.

Where shall we go?
Do you want to go home?

I don't feel like it.

But you can if you want.

We decided not to go home.

Do you feel ill?
Are you okay? Do you feel ill?

I think I'm going to die.

Are you okay?
Do you want me to hold you?

Yes, please.

Let go of me, I'll do it...
I'll do it.


Me too...

You're hurting me.


You've had enough, I'm sorry.

Why insist when it doesn't work?

I feel good.

Stay like that.

You're tired.

Why did you leave high school?

My teacher was a pervert.

Always feeling me up...

I see.
How long have you been working?

I couldn't go on doing nothing.

But I'll resume my studies.

I'll get my credits transferred.
I'll learn Japanese.

I'd like to live in Japan.

Come here.

Wiped out by exhaustion,

I had a strange dream.

While looking for the toilets,
I reached a landing.

Do you want an apple?

When I woke, I tried again.

- You're hurting me.
- Sorry.

You're fed up?

But why do you insist?

I'd like to die.
End with a flourish.

Dying would be good.

Why do you want to die?

I don't know... No reason.
I really want to die.

Me too, I want to die.

Are you serious?

Me too, I want to die.
Let's die together.

Let's die clean,
let's not make love.

All right...

Enjoy it.

It's delicious.

it is.

Do you want...?

What for?

if you want to write something.

What are you going to write?

I'll say it all before I die.

I'll dry my hair.

They counted two nights
instead of a day and a half.

We went to several pharmacies

to buy 80 sleeping pills.

You want a coffee?

No, I'm just putting the coins in.

it will make someone happy.

What a nice smell of coffee!

I wanted to be honest with Youngsil.


I wanted to throw myself
on the tracks.

On our way back up,
I told her: let's die together..

You cry, then you laugh, stupid!

I've never been up there.

Some other time.

- Marlboro reds.
- I don't have foreign brands.

- No Marlboro reds?
- No.

Some "88s" then,

- soju and some dried squid.
- All right.

What are you doing?

I wanted Marlboro reds.

Too bad.

They're divided up.

That's a lot of pills.

Youngsil, let's not make love.

We won't go to bed.

You're right.

I'll go and wash.


We wanted to be clean to die.

While waiting,
I almost took all the pills.

- Take your shower.
- Yes.

I was afraid she would take
all the pills in my absence.


- Nothing.
- You want something?

Dry your hair.

Oh, It's snowing...

It's snowing!

it is?

What a coincidence!

Is it pretty?

It's pretty.
Very pretty.

I'll look later.

She was really
going to die with me.


Sangwon has had an accident.

We're in Namsan.

Hello? I can't hear you.
What did you say?

Sangwon has had an accident?
What kind of accident?

An accident.
He's lying here...

Come quickly.

Where is he?
Where are you?

in Namsan.

She had woken,
she had gone home.

She used my cell phone
to alert my family.

Sangwon, wake up!

Wake up!

What happened?



You need it. Are you in pain?

A little. It's okay.

Or should I call you father?


What are you talking about?

I'm going for a cigarette.
I'll come back.

Excuse me.

Have I been asleep long?

Two hours or so.

Don't talk.

I would have liked
to impress the nurse.

Since I was going to live,

I'd have liked to find
a girl like her.

Can we remove the IV?

Sorry? No.
Wait a little.

You're too impatient.

I was worried about
the reception I was going to get.

We'll take a cab.

I looked around for Youngsil.

I felt
as if I was starting a new life.

A gift that had been given to me.

Who did you want to die with?

A girl, huh?

You need a girl for that too?

It's not that.

- Give it to me.
- It's okay.

if you want. Be careful.

So you wanted to kill yourself!

Think you're capable of it?

What kind of stupid act Is this?

Drop dead! Why have you
come back? You're just a clown!

I apologize, mom.

But let me give you my reasons.

Your reasons?

You have reasons?


I've always found it hard
communicating with you.

You know that.

For nineteen years now,

I've felt you don't understand me.

What a pretty speech! Shut up!

I'm hard to communicate with?

I've always given you
what you wanted.

And now It's all my fault?

He's not entirely wrong.
You can be difficult.

What the hell do you know?

You blame your mother
and you call yourself a man?

I killed myself raising you

and you insult me, you little shit!

You say It's because of me
that you want to die?

So die! Why have you come back?


Can't you let me speak?

I Understand.
I fucking understand!

I'm going to kill myself for real.

I may as well kill myself!

Goddam maniac!

Be polite with mom.

Stay out of this.

Sit down.

Nobody cared.

Mom! Mom!

I got the letter this morning too.

Is it that serious?

He won't last much longer.
There's no hope.

His old classmates are meeting tonight
to do a collection.

It's to help hisfamily.

Besides, it's a long time
since we last saw you.

Come tonight.

Actually, I wanted to see his retrospective.
I'm at the cinema.

I'm thinking of going too.

They're showing all hisfilms?

Three shorts and a feature.
it ends tomorrow.

I won't be able to go.
We'll expect you tonight.

I have a lot to do,
but I'll come if I can.

Thanks for calling me.
Are you well?

Me? I'm fine.

Right, I'll be going now.

The hospital and operation costs
have reached one hundred million wons...

Such details are obscene!

What are you doing here?

And you? It's been ages.

You came to see the film,
so did I.

You're looking better, healthier.

Marlboro reds?

Like in the film?

From time to time.

Let me have one.
I've always been tempted.

Did you see the film?

I'd seen it before.
This was the second time.

His films are good.

It's charming...

Are you coming tonight?

I'm not sure.
What should I do?

I'm having lunch
with my wife and children.

Want to come?

- To have lunch?
- Join us, have you eaten?

It's just that...
I have so many people to see.

Let's go.

How many children?

- Two.
- That's good.

You can eat a whole portion?

- Sure! You bet we can!
- Yes, we can.

Two portions of shrimp then.

Two shrimps,
one sweet-and-sour pork,

three noodles.

- What an appetite...
- They love shrimps.

You don't want any noodles?

No. We'll see later.

- Don't smoke.
- I'm not smoking.

You came to see his film.

You were close to him,
weren't you?

At university, yes.
But I'd stopped seeing him.

You have things in common.

Such as?

You act cool,
you love women.

Your film would have been
in the same vein, right? Come on...

in any case, I've never eaten a beef rib

as good as the one at your place.

A beef rib?

- Yes...That was years ago!
- You remember that?

It's kind of you to remember.

it was really good.

The meat melted in your mouth.

Do you remember how many times
you complimented your wife?

Complimented my wife?

You did that?

Six times.
I remember counting.

You complimented her six times.

You remember such odd things!

I'd never heard anyone
make compliments about food.

Mom, I think I have a fever.
I feel cold.

Really? Let me see.

You're hot.

Perhaps It's indigestion.
Do you feel cold?

What's wrong?

She says she feels cold.
Let's go home.

Come here.

There's no need.

She's cold.
Feel better?


Thank you. Where are you going?
I'm going home before the meeting.

Want a ride?

I haven't made my mind up yet.

Get in. I'll drop you off somewhere.

- It's at six?
- Yes. Come. They'll all be there.

I like the color of your car..

Get in, It's cold.


- How do you feel?
- it hurts.

We'll soon be home.

Can I smoke?

Wait a bit.
Because of the children.

All right.

Can you drop me here?

- Here? Why?
- No reason. I have to...

- Let me out here.
- All right.

Thank you.

I'd let you keep it,

but my mother bought it for me.



it was good to see you.

Okay. Close the door.

I'll close the door.

It's visible all over the city.

You're beautiful! Hurry, hurry.
Just a second, please.

- What's your name?
- Kanghi.

- Kanghi?
- Yes.

You're really beautiful!

- Really!
- Thank you.

We're big fans! Goodbye.




Are you on a pilgrimage?

I'm sorry? What do you mean?
Do we know each other?

Who doesn't know Choe Youngsil?
I admire you.

I'm not a star.
Thank you anyway.

We just saw the same film.
Are you returning to the locations?

You're so classy!

What makes you say that?

I went to the same film school
as the director.

He spoke about you.
I know things about you.

I could even have gone on the set.

- Are you going to Namsan next?
- To Namsan?


Talking of Namsan, Is that where

his classmates are meeting?

Will you be there?

I've been asked
to contribute to the collection.

I'd like to go,
but I may not be able to.

I Understand.

What about you?

I ought to go, but...
not everyone there likes me.

I see.
Are you a director too?

Yes, how did you know?

You were at the same school.

Be in my film when I shoot it.

I'm serious.

if you were to accept,
that would be a big help.

Why not?
Send me the screenplay.

All right.

Can I have your address?

I'm not sure.
I don't know you.

if I see you this evening, perhaps...
I prefer that.

if you want.
Let's shake hands.

All right.
Like in the film?

We shall not leave in the loved one's
heart nothing but light memories

Now I know
A love that is too deep

Comes to an unhappy end
I shall pray, my love

- Here you are!
- It's been ages.


- Sit down here.
- Thanks.

It's really been ages!

You're late!

I walked
from the top of the hill.

Really? Why?

No reason.
I've lost my wallet. I'm broke.

What about your credit card?

I'm beyond my credit limit.

You'll never change.

Sorry about earlier. You understand,
It's a gift from my mother.

I didn't know if we'd meet again.

That's all right. Forget it.

how much must we donate?

I've lost my wallet,
I'm a bit short.

Give what you can.
Go ahead. Whatever you can spare.

- Here. It's not much.
- Thank you.

Do you still drink as much?

No, I don't drink anymore.
I have to think of my health.

I'm getting older.
I met some people up there,

but I didn't drink.

You're right, you're no spring chicken.
But you're looking better..

I don't like drinking anymore.

Have a glass anyway.

Thank you.

Don't get drunk, please.

What's your problem?
What's the matter?

- It's been ages, hasn't it?
- Stop it!

Muscular. Do you work out?
You're muscular.

Tongsu! if you plan to get drunk,
say so. Understand?

I Understand.

- I think I've walked too much.
- Have some meat.

Thank you.

it looks good.

Enjoy it.

Miss Choe Youngsil! Good evening.
You're so beautiful!

Good evening.

How do you do?

- What do you want me to sing?
- "If I loved again.", please

My name Is Choe Yongsil.
I'm an actress.

Your older colleague Yi Hyongsu...
Some here are the same age...

He allowed me
to make my film debut.

I haven't seen him for a long time.

It's his fault as much as mine.

But, at this moment in time,

I feel as if It's my fault.

Mr. Yi, I'm really,
really sorry.

We shall make no promises
Even if we part

We'll be able to move away from each other.
Without too much pain

We shall not leave In the loved one's heart
Nothing but light memories easy to cast aside

Now I know
A love that is too deep

Comes to an unhappy end
I shall pray, my love

For my next love to be different
from ours and so know no suffering

We're all fans of yours.

Thank you for coming.

Thank you.

Would you do a commercial for me?

I'd be delighted.

- Wonderful! It's been a pleasure.
- For me too.

Don't look down on serials.

I don't look down on anything.

Go back inside.

- Take care.
- Goodbye.

Where are you going?

You scared me.
Where have you been?

No reason to be scared.
I was the one who chose the song.

I know.

Where are you going?


I'm going to Kyonghi University Hospital.
To see Yi.

I see.

Can you visit this late?

I don't know.

I'll see.
They're saying It's serious.

I must go too.
Shall I come with you?

I'm going alone.

- Stay with your friends.
- That's not important.

What's the matter?
You're a strange guy.

Is it tough being an actress?
Can I tell you about my ideal?

No. The taxi Is here.
Go back in.

I didn't know you had a limp.

What? You didn't?

Don't talk rubbish!
Has she left?

She's really pretty.

- She's a good actress. Too bad.
- What?

Nobody offers her anything
since her accident.

What accident?

She had a friend. An artist.

When she tried to leave him,
he attacked her.

Is that true?

She's covered with scars.

She's had several operations
in the USA.

But she still has some,

especially in intimate places.


What places?

How should I know?

in certain places...
intimate places.

Give me a cigarette.

You never noticed I limped?

I find you everywhere I go!

Yes. I'm broke.
I've lost my wallet.

That's a nuisance.

I have some cigarettes left
and enough for the subway.

Do you want me
to lend you some money?

That would be kind.

No, forget it.

Actually, my heart has a problem.

Buy me a drink instead.

Your heart has a problem?

Yes. Yongsil...
you look like an angel...

You're laughing?

You're saying that
because of that angel statue.

you're my feminine ideal.

You're repeating yourself.
it made me cry.

You can tell, can't you?

Yes, I can.
I'd like to smoke a cigarette.

Come with me, then.

it seems
that Yi's condition Is serious.

What can we do?

Did the doctor tell you?

Yes, the one treating him.
It's what he implies.

Today's dawn could be his last.

I feel so sorry for him.

Today's dawn?

Come over here
to smoke a cigarette.

Well, all right.

Why did you keep your name
in the film?

Was it Yi's idea?

For a short film, it didn't matter.


Yi himself performed in the film.

While we were shooting it,
everyone had a good time.

Were you dating each other?


He's the one who gave me my start.

I'm grateful to him for that.

Thanks to that, I've appeared
in some quality productions.


I was shooting my second film,

when he called me. And...
he said... I had made a lot of money.

That I had succeeded thanks to him.
He was asking me for money.

It's tough being an actress!

He was preying on your pity.
How much did he want?

He talked about a loan
but wanted me to give it to him.

20 million wons.

That's what he wanted.
I hesitated for a few days.

He called me back, we saw each other.
He apologized, in tears.

He was really crying.
He said he had been drinking.

All the same,
I never felt like seeing him again.

I see.

I have to tell you...

That film tells my story.

I had told it to him
as a secret.

I can't forgive him
for having made it public.

I was shocked. it was your story?
What part? All of it?

All of it. Going to a hotel to die.

Sharing out the pills one by one.
I told him everything.

Even the snow before the suicide,
the Marlboro reds

that I couldn't find. All that.

I like the bit with the Marlboros.
You told him all that!

Not exactly,

but, back then,
he saw me smoking them all the time.


When you're part of a filmmaker's entourage,
you tend to think like that.

As soon as you spot a coincidence,
you think It's because of you.

We all think
the world revolves around us.

But does all that really matter now?

Does it matter?


I was just telling you all that.

What are we going to do?

We've had too much to drink.

Do you really bear a grudge
against Yi?

He was a big influence on me.

He did everything
I'd have liked to do.

I was jealous.
He was excessively proud,

although he had no reason to be.
I'm as good as him.

He acted like my mentor
and wanted me

to recognize him as such.
No way! I didn't like that.

Don't get angry.
Don't hate him.

He's dying.

So are we.

You're exaggerating.
I don't like that.

All right.

I'm too fond of drinking.
Life Is too tough. It's too...


I love you.

Do you mean it?

You're talking rubbish.

- You're forgetting your change.
- Yes.


Thank you.

- That was delicious. Thank you.
- You're welcome...

Wrap up warmly.

I'm drunk.

Be careful.
Are you okay?

I don't feel good.

I'm sorry, It's my fault.

How dare you touch me?

it will be all right...

You're hurting me.

There's nothing special
about an actress, you know.

She's a woman like any other.

I know.
I love you.

- Is that true?
- That's good.

I love you so much.

Is that true? You like it?


I'd like to come.
I'd really like to come.

I love you.

Make me come.

- No... stop it.
- I'm sorry?

Stop it.

I love you.

Stop it.
Stop it.

Stop it.

Why are you looking at me?

No reason.
You don't have any scars.


I was told you had scars.

Who told you that?
I have scars?

I can't tell you.


Something wrong?

Why are you leaving?
What have I done?

Nothing. You haven't done anything.

No reason.

What if we died?

if you want, before dying,
we could live another six months!

We'd love each other intensely.


Are you going to stay?
I'm leaving.

Don't go.

I'd like to rest a little longer.

I have to leave.
I need to go somewhere.

But will you come back?

Come back. Please.

I'll see.
Go on, sleep.

Excuse me, but...

Leave me something
that I can keep.


I don't think
you really understood the film.

Did you sleep well?

I didn't sleep.
I'm coming to see the patient.

It's true...
You didn't know I was here.

Did you spend the night here?

Yes. His condition has improved.
The crisis Is over.

That's good.

But it could start again.

I have to go.
Go on!

- Wait!
- What?

You must be tired,
but give me a second.

I'm worn out.
I haven't slept.

You had a good time,
so that's enough now!

Go home. Rest.

It'll be all right.
What can I do?

Tell me, how are you?

What are you doing here?

It's tough. it hurts too much.
I think I'm going to die.

It'll be all right.
What can I do?

I don't want to die.
I really don't

it hurts. I don't want to die.
I really don't

Don't say that! Don't say that!
You're not going to die, trust me.

I'm sorry,
It's my fault.

Don't die!

Tongsu, I don't want to die.
I want to live.

I want to live.
I don't want to die.


You're not going to die, trust me.

I need to think now.
Thinking is necessary.

With thought,
I can sort everything out.

And even stop smoking.
I have to think.

To get out of all this.

To live a long time.