Day Trip

(South Korea, 2012)
18min, HD CAM, Korean with English Subtitles
Directed by PARKing CHANce (Park Chan-wook & Park Chan-kyong)
Starring: Song Kang-Ho, Jeon Hyo-Jung

Oldboy director Park Chan-wook reunites with brother Park Chan-kyong (known for his art installations, photographic and experimental films) and ventures into old master Im Kwon-Taek’s territory with his DAY TRIP. This second project by the creative duo (who have branded themselves as “PARKing CHANce”) is their follow-up to the iPhone-shot Night Fishing, which won Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011, and this time, as if taking their cue from Im, the Park brothers place the art of pansori (a kind of Korean blues) center stage.

A silver-haired pansori master (superstar actor Song Kang-ho) takes his disciple (first-timer 15-year-old Jeon Hyo-jung) on a trek through the mountains. The student is pretty depressed, after getting a disappointing third place at a recent competition. The path that winds through Namsan Mountain in Gyeongju is steep, long and ever more winding… but the trip, a step in the ritual 100-day practice session essential for pansori singers to reach another level of artistic consciousness and skill, might just be what she needed to find her true voice… and herself.
Despite massive corporate sponsorship (the short was a commission), the financial machinery behind this lyrical piece is completely invisible: the Park brothers have managed to avoid the usual pitfalls of phoned-in postcard aesthetics. Instead, they offer a mystical road trip and a masterful description of the artistic process.