"Director Ha Gil-Jong's most famous work 'March of Fools' first premiered in 1975, and it would eventually acquire legendary status among the leading directors of the next decade." (Darcy Paquet)
Video - 2.35:1 MPEG4 / AVC / 1080p / 23.976 fps
Audio - Korean DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Subtitles - Korean / English / French / Japanese
Region Code - A/B/C
Running time - 102min
1) Audio Commentary track by Chung Sung-Ill(Film Critic & Director) : Subtitles - Korean, English
2) Audio Commentary track by Darcy Paquet(Film Critic) : Subtitles - Korean, English
3) The Sequence Of 'As Days Go By' From The Original Negative (3 Min.)
4) Censored Clips (3min.)
5) Image Gallery : Stills / Documents On The Censorship / Censored Screenplay
About Movie (from the original web link http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm70s.html#march)
One of the most talented Korean directors to work in the 1970s was Ha Kil-chong. Orphaned at age 10, Ha moved to Seoul and eventually entered the French Literature department at Seoul National University. He worked for Air France after graduation and then moved to the U.S. in 1964, where he supported himself by working odd jobs as a waitor or at gas stations. After finding his feet financially he entered the UCLA Film School, where he studied together with Francis Ford Coppola. Upon graduating he was one of four film students nationwide to receive the MGM Mayer Grand Prize and was reportedly offered a teaching position at UCLA as well as the opportunity to make films in Hollywood. However he decided to return to Korea with his wife and newborn son in 1970.
March of Fools Ha took up work in the Korean film industry just as it was entering its most oppressive era. He made seven films from his debut work Pollen in 1972 to his last film Byungtae and Youngja in 1979, all the while struggling with governmental censorship and an industry in commercial decline. Nonetheless through his innovative films and thoughtful essays he earned great respect from many of his peers. Tragically, on February 23, 1979 he suffered a stroke and died. He was 38 years old.
Ha's most famous work March of Fools first premiered in 1975, and it would eventually acquire legendary status among the leading directors of the next decade. The film's plot centers around two wayward university students, Byung-tae (Yoon Mun-seop) and Young-chul (Ha Jae-young), who spend their time drinking beer, going on dates, and running away from the policemen on the "hair squad" (who dragged long-haired college students to the station for an involuntary haircut). One day on a blind date they meet two women named Young-ja (Lee Young-ok) and Young-sook (Kim Young-sook), who end up becoming an important part of their lives.
Much of the film is a lighthearted echo of a typical 1970s university student's experiences, set to memorable songs of that era. Some scenes are hilarious, such as when Byung-tae represents the Philosophy Department in a school drinking contest. Nonetheless, the mood turns subtly darker as the students confront questions about their future and their goals, living amidst a constrictive and sterile society.
Alas, the film itself would not escape unscathed from the oppression of those times. Prior to its release in 1975, close to 30 minutes were cut by government censors, including seemingly innocuous material that contributed to the downbeat mood of the film. Only later during the brief political spring of 1980 was a more complete version put together with excised footage, although there remain segments that were never able to be recovered. (For a heartfelt and illuminating account of March of Fools's struggles with censorship, I strongly recommend the second segment of director Kim Hong-joon's 2003 video essay My Korean Cinema).
Like many of the greatest Korean movies of the 1970s, March of Fools was shot by cinematographer Jung Sung-il, who these days is better known for his collaboration with director Im Kwon-taek. Jung's work in this film is a joy to watch, with its restless movement and unexpected camera angles reflecting the unsettled mood of its protagonists. The songs featured in the film by Song Chang-shik and Kim Sang-bae are also enjoyable and at times quite moving.
No one will ever know what Ha Kil-chong would have accomplished if he had lived a longer life. He would have been in his mid-sixties now, perhaps enjoying the same level of attention and prestige as Im Kwon-taek. Though it is painful to think of what has been lost, we still have March of Fools -- left behind as a singular achievement amidst the very worst circumstances faced by Korean filmmakers since the end of the war. (Darcy Paquet)
March of Fools ("Babodeul-ui haengjin"). Directed by Ha Kil-chong. Screenplay by Choi In-ho. Starring Yun Mun-seop, Ha Jae-young, Lee Young-ok, Kim Young-sook, Kim Sang-bae, Jeong Se-gun, Park Kyu-hyun. Cinematography by Jung Il-sung. Produced by Hwacheon Corporation. 102 min (based on existing negative), 35mm, color, Cinemascope. Rating given on May 13, 1975. Released in censored version on May 31, 1975. Partially restored version first screened in 1980. Total admissions: 153,780.
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