Reviews of Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors
Displaying 1 review
“Oh! Soo-jung” is about the memory of love and the ways in which – like Borges’ garden of forking paths – it discloses several worlds of meaning and affection. It’s a film about the predicaments of cinematic staging and it addresses this formal issue by means of a thorough investigation of the predicaments of the staging of memory.
When David Bordwell analyzes an important dinner-table sequence of this film, in the beginning of his book “Figures traced in light”, he stresses the articulation of the bodies and their gestures in relationship to dialogue and dramatic tension, in a single long-take where there’s no camera movement. Such an orchestration of figures – which benefits in this case from a beautiful black and white cinematography – accomplishes complex “gradations of emphasis”, insinuates deep, if hidden, connections between the characters and constitutes a sinuous and powerful dramatic fabric.
What becomes necessary to any analysis of cinematic staging in “Oh! Soo-jung” is an understanding of the relationship between the issues of cinematic staging and the orchestration of figures traced in light (stressed by Bordwell) and the matters of memory and its multiple stagings: the dinner-table sequence becomes a screen for the double projection of meanings and affections – from the different perspectives of the main characters involved. The reiteration – the repetition in difference – of the dinner-table sequence traces slightly different figures of light which result in rather different dramatic fabrics reconstituting mo(ve)ments of attraction and repulsion, sexual affection and lovely tension, between Jae-hoon and Soo-jung.
The garden of memory – through whose forking paths “Oh! Soo-jung” travels masterfully – discloses itself as the poetic space where the aesthetic issues of cinematic staging become more than a question of formal schemas: before the garden of memory, the issues of cinematic staging and the choices among different formal schemas turn out to be questions of representation of human consciousness. Cinematic staging as a psychic apparatus and prosthesis of perception.
- Currently 4.0/5 Stars.