Jee-woon Kim – Janghwa, Hongryeon AKA A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

A dark old house that holds its secrets close. Two sisters tormented by an evil stepmother and clinging to one another for comfort while their aloof, ineffectual father hides in his work and tries to ignore the mounting tension in his household. The onset of puberty, the first spilling of menstrual blood, is marked by terrifying visitations. If, as A Tale of Two Sisters unfolds, you’re put in mind of a fairy tale—albeit by way of Angela Carter or Tanith Lee—you wouldn’t be wrong; the story is in part based on a Korean folk tale that’s made it to film several times before in that country. And yet this haunting retelling has an utterly original feel about it. In part this is due to a set of storytelling beats (that is, the actual timing of major scare sequences and revelations) that differ from those we’re accustomed to in Western film, lending an even more disorienting feel to the already off-kilter proceedings; largely, though, it is the combined effects of cinematographer Lee Mogae’s lush photography, Lee Byeong-Woo’s evocative score, and director Kim Jee-Woon’s ability to coax affecting and almost unbearably poignant performances from young actresses Im Soo-jung (as Su-mi) and Moon Geun-young (as her younger sister Su-yeon).

2.64GB | 1h 54m | 1024×560 | mkv


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