2019 Hawaii International Film Festival, 2020 Black Movie Film Festival, 2020 Geneva Film Festival
Chun Woo-hee, Yoo Teo, Jeong Jae-kwang
Seo-young (Chun Woo-hee, seen at Fantasia in HAN GONG-JU in 2014 and in THE WAILING in 2016) is a young woman in her thirties working for a large company whose offices are located in a skyscraper. She’s struggling with a sense of anxiety and insecurity, manifested in intense dizziness, light-headedness and tinnitus. Secretly dating a popular colleague (Teo Yoo, LETO), she nevertheless feels lonely, with few friends and a dysfunctional relationship with her mother. One day, a window washer, Gwan-woo (Jeong Jae-kwang), suddenly enters her field of vision, both fascinating and disturbing her. A mime in his spare time, he too takes a silent interest in her...
With VERTIGO, writer and director Jeon Gye-soo (LOVE FICTION, Fantasia 2012) delivers a psychological drama of great finesse, which stands out for its superb cinematography and rich sound design. Very atmospheric, the film includes many passages without dialogue, where emotions are mainly evoked by the expressive face of the extraordinary Chun Woo-hee. Her alienation from her life in a flourescent-lit cube is vivid, and the film also subtly addresses the power games and sexism that characterize South Korean corporate culture. But one of the most interesting elements is the half-romantic, half-obsessive attention Gwan-woo pays to Seo-young, observing and following her from a distance. In this respect, VERTIGO echoes Hitchcock's masterpiece of the same title, even though the two films are not directly related. Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
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