Its refusal to provide cathartic release is also admirable, given that the film bills itself as a melodrama.
But there is a magic in the first half -- a sense of everything clicking together in harmony -- that evaporates in the latter reels, and I don't think this was the filmmaker's intention.
Independently-produced films also injected a bit of energy into the autumn and winter, although perhaps not to the same degree as in 2006.
Milky Way Liberation Front, in particular, seemed to win over a large number of critics with its quirky charms.
Every character in the film speaks with his or her own, absolutely unique rhythms and inflections, and so there's a pleasure in hearing characters interact that goes beyond the words themselves.
In terms of the narrative, Im is also quite graceful in the way he leaps forward and backward in time, only touching down on what is essential to the characters' memories.
sense of gloom covered Korean cinema in the year 2007, with fewer strong films than in previous years, local audiences beginning to cool on Korean film, exports showing a continued decline, and the film industry suffering through a recession of sorts.
Although long considered one of Korea's top actors by the local press, this was the first opportunity for Jeon to really shine in an international spotlight.
But in this dark era in Korea's history, politics and the state not only limit their freedoms, but ultimately push into their private lives as well.
An unusual mix of politics and melodrama that ranges from 1980 up until the present day, The Old Garden represents a collaboration between two generations of anti-authoritarian artists: young director Im Sang-soo, known for his filmmaking talent and taste for controversy; and novelist Hwang Seok-young, a prizewinning author who spent the 1980s in exile and then served five years in prison in the 1990s for an unauthorized visit to North Korea.
It's as if at times it steps back to admire itself.
From a logical or analytical standpoint, this admittedly makes for a more complex and interesting work.