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[Movie 1999] Harmonium In My Memory 내 마음의 풍금

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Lee Byung Hun, Jeon Do Yeon & Lee Mi Yeon

Director * Lee Young-Jae

Also Known As * Organ of My Heart 내 마음의 풍금

Cast * Lee Byung Hun, Jeon Do Yeon, Lee Mi Yeon


Harmonium in My Memory

The setting for this film is 1962, when a young teacher from Seoul takes his first job at a village school in Kangwon Province. When he arrives, his students present him with a number of challenges: many of them are poor, and cannot write properly; classtime is interrupted by fighting or visits from relatives. Nonetheless the students seem to enjoy his caring, idealistic approach, even if they don't always do what he tells them to.

At this time one of his older students begins to fall in love with him. She makes use of her daily journal assignments to comment on his teaching and ask him probing, curious questions. When she notices a romance developing between him and another teacher, she does her best to discredit her rival by harping on her age and stealing her shoes in class.

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Director Lee Young-jae takes a lighthearted approach to this film, as evidenced by his casual jokes and the stereotyped portrayals of the older teachers at the school. This humor helps to put the ideals of the teachers and the passions of first love into perspective, without detracting from the underlying seriousness behind them. Jeon Do-yeon (The Contact, A Promise) is wonderful here once again as the 17-year old schoolgirl who battles with her timidity to make passes at her teacher. The teacher is played by Lee Byung-heon, a popular TV, stage and film actor. Lee Mi-yeon (Whispering Corridors, No. 3) acts as Jeon's rival, an idealistic young teacher who arrives from Seoul to teach at the same school.

As a teacher I've been subjected to a great many films that mythologize teaching and spin touching but ingenuine tales of success in the classroom. What I like best about this film is its lack of a triumphant breakthrough. Its honesty and light humor make us believe in the characters and care about what happens to them. By the time we reach the end of the film, it hits us with more power than we ever expected. (Darcy Paquet)


koreanfilm.org/kfilm99.html, hancinema.net, YesAsia

Awards and Nominations


Best Actress Winner, Jeon Do Yeon (Dae Jong Award Festival 2000)

Best Actress Winner, Jeon Do Yeon (Blue Dragon Film Awards 1999)

Best Supporting Actress Winner, Jeon Do Yeon (Blue Dragon Film Awards 1999)

Best New Director Winner, Lee Young Jae (Blue Dragon Film Awards 1999)

Related soompi threads

Jeon Do Yeon


Everything Lee Byung Hun


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jeondy.gifJeon Do-yeon


Complete filmography

Secret Sunshine (2006)

You're My Sunshine (2005)

My Mother, the Mermaid (2004)

Untold Scandal (2003)

No Blood No Tears (2002)

I Wish I Had a Wife (2001)

Happy End (1999)

Harmonium in My Memory (1999)

A Promise (1998)

The Contact (1997)

Jeon Do-yeon (b. February 11, 1973) spent five years starring in television dramas before achieving instant star status with her film debut opposite Han Seok-gyu in The Contact. She has since gone on to establish a reputation as a "chameleon" who can take on a wide variety of roles, from her performance as a doctor in the hit melodrama A Promise, to that of a schoolgirl in Harmonium in My Memory to that of a wife having an adulterous affair in Happy End. In 1999 and 2000 she received a Best Actress award from both the Blue Dragon and the Grand Bell awards for her role in Harmonium in My Memory.

In 2001 she played a very ordinary bank teller with great skill in Park Heung-shik's debut I Wish I Had a Wife. After starring as the tough-talking "Sunglasses" in Ryoo Seung-wan's No Blood No Tears, Jeon spent time acting in a TV drama titled "Shoot for the Stars." In 2003 she found box-office success in E J-yong's Untold Scandal, based on the famous French novel Dangerous Liasions. The following year she re-united with director Park Heung-shik in a dual role for the time-bending melodrama My Mother, the Mermaid.

Currently Jeon is scheduled to play a prostitute who contracts AIDS in Park Jin-pyo's hard-hitting melodrama You're My Sunshine. Although not as broadly popular with audiences as some other stars, Jeon is widely respected for her acting abilities, and many young actresses cite her as a role model.

Interview excerpts

"I enjoy acting a great deal, so I feel no need or desire to be called a great actor. This is partly my personality, but also the fact that I get so absorbed in acting, to where I can't see or think of anything else. I can't tell you what great acting is, but for me, it is to give everything you have with honesty, sincerity and persistence." [Kino, #56, October 1999]

Lee Byung-heon



Complete filmography:

Once in a Summer (2006)

A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Everybody Has Secrets (2004)

Addicted (2002)

My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002, voice)

Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2001)

Joint Security Area (2000)

Harmonium in My Memory (1999)

Elegy of the Earth (1997)

Kill the Love (1996)

Armageddon (1996) (voice)

Runaway (1995)

Who Drives Me Mad? (1995)

Lee Byung-heon (b. July 12, 1970) majored in French at Hanyang University before making his television debut on KBS in 1991. A fixture in TV dramas throughout the decade, Lee has continued to work in television even after becoming a major film star. His movie debut came in 1995 as the lead in Who Drives Me Mad?, and he worked off and on in the film industry up until his breakthrough film in 2000, Joint Security Area.

For a long time thought of as just another pretty face, Lee eventually earned great praise for his acting, both for his turn in JSA and especially in Bungee Jumping of Their Own. He also starred in the popular television drama Beautiful Days, which screened in spring 2002 on SBS and would later be exported across Asia.

In 2002, Lee starred with actress Lee Mi-yeon in Addicted, a melodrama about two brothers who fall into a coma on the same day. The following spring he also took the lead role in the highly popular TV drama All In, about a successful gambler.

In 2004, Lee appeared opposite actresses Choi Ji-woo, Choo Sang-mi and Kim Hyo-jin in Everybody Has Secrets, a remake of the Irish comedy About Adam. Also that year, several of Lee's TV dramas began to screen in Japan, and his popularity there started to soar. He eventually became even more popular in Japan than he is in Korea.

Then in 2005, Lee appeared in Kim Jee-woon's highly anticipated action-noir A Bittersweet Life. Although the film ended up performing below expectations in both Korea and Japan, it was selected to screen in the Official Selection (out of competition) at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, giving Lee the opportunity to "walk the red carpet" for his biggest moment of fame.

leemy.gifLee Mi-yeon


Complete filmography:

Typhoon (2005)

Addicted (2002)

Last Witness (2001)

Indian Summer (2001)

Pisces (2000)

Love Bakery (2000)

Harmonium in My Memory (1999)

Whispering Corridors (1998)

Motel Cactus (1997)

No. 3 (1997)

Go Alone Like a Rhino's Horn (1995)

I Will Survive (1993)

Snow Flower (1992)

An Afternoon Without Rain (1991)

An Autumn Journey (1991)

Happiness Has Nothing To Do With School Records (1989)

Lee Mi-yeon (b. September 23, 1971) debuted in 1989 in a production by Cinema Service founder Kang Woo-suk titled Happiness Has Nothing To Do With School Records. Over the course of the 1990s she became quite famous, and after a short pause from filmmaking in 1995 she returned with a vengeance, taking on a role in the cult hit No. 3 and, in the following year, playing a schoolteacher in the second-biggest Korean film of 1998, horror film Whispering Corridors.

The year 2001 proved to be a mixed blessing for Lee. The news that her husband, actor Kim Seung-woo, had divorced her ended up as one of the biggest entertainment-related stories of the year. Shortly thereafter, however, she won a Best Actress award from the 2000 Blue Dragon Awards ceremony for her role in the low-profile film Pisces.

The award and all the press attention proved to be a boost to her career. In Indian Summer she played a woman accused of killing her husband, and then in November she starred as a Communist sympathizer in the latest feature by veteran director Bae Chang-ho. The following year she starred opposite mega-star Lee Byung-heon in the melodrama Addicted, as a woman who must cope with an unusual situation after her husband's death.

After several years away from the screen, Lee returns in 2005 in Kwak Kyung-taek's blockbuster Typhoon, which ranks as the most expensive Korean film in history.


koreanfilm.org for the information & captures

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Harmonium in My Memory


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Set in 1963, Nae Maeumeui Pungguem/The Harmonium in My Memory tells the tale of Kang Su-ha (Lee Byung-heon), a 21-year-old novice schoolteacher who lands a job in the very small town of Sanri, mostly populated by illiterate families stuck in poverty, and with little interest in education. Add to this the fact that Kang is very nervous and clumsy in the extreme, and it's no wonder he has a hard time keeping his class in order. Kang makes the acquaintance of Yang Eun-hee (Lee Mi-yeon), a lovely young woman who is also on the school's faculty, and, though it takes a while, Kang eventually works up the courage to actually talk to her. However, Kang has an unexpected obstacle in this potential romance. One of his students, 17-year-old Yun Hong-yeon (Jeon Do-yeon), has a furious crush on Kang, and she isn't about to make it easy for him to him to pursue the woman of his dreams. The film was cited in the press for the fine performances of the three leads and the accurate recreation of Korea on the cusp of modernization. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Source MTV.com, images from Hancinema.net

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stills: in easy clickable thumbnails :)

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credit - hancinema.net

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Ooooh! A "Harmonium in My Memory" thread. And I'm glad that it's you who started it, rubie. :D This thread will definitely NOT go stale because it's under your care. And how you care for Byung Hun's threads! :) See you around!

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^Hi yoonah! So good to have you here, I remember that you were searching for a Harmonium thread but there was none before. I'm doing some updating and looking at the pics from the movie... thinking... we should have a thread for the sweet first love and talk about it. Hope that many would join the thread.... I have to watch the movie again to refresh my memory though. :blush: Had watched it ... like 4 years ago along with JSA. It was a LBH-frenzy moment then... and still is. :lol:

A movie clip for all...

thanks to midnight sun at Everything Lee Byung Hun :)

0093fj.pngThe Harmonium in My Memory

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Lee Young-jae's The Harmonium in My Memory finally comes to DVD almost seven years after it was initially made. Based on the popular South Korean novel Female Student, The Harmonium in My Memory tells the story of Kang Soo-ha (Lee Byung-heon), a young 21 year old teacher who arrives in the Kangwon Province to teach in a poor and mostly illiterate village. Set in 1962, the young and timid teacher settles into his job, with a different approach to the more traditional methods of discipline. He instructs his students to challenge themselves by writing in a journal everyday. And in one of these journals, Kang learns of Yoon Hong-yeon’s (Jeon Do-yeon) schoolgirl crush on him. But when Kang meets fellow teacher Yang Eun-hee (Lee Mi-yeon), he develops a crush of his own and a love triangle is formed.

This slow-paced film flourishes in its nostalgia and simplicity. The director does a good job of setting up the three well-performed main characters, without ever feeling that the drama need come from dramatics. Although the film does take its time in establishing any conflicts, the second half tells a touching story about a seventeen year old girl’s crush plagued by shyness, which is ironically not very different from the protagonist's feelings towards his teaching colleague. And in exploring this theme, the film finds its feet in the same way the two main characters find each other. There are one too many slapstick moments, which can occasionally be endearing, but eventually slow down the plot’s progression. But in the end, this is a film that doesn't glorify the teacher as the saviour, but rather chooses to focus on a simple love story at the beginnings of post-war Korea's exposure to the West. And particularly that of a young teacher who finds he has much to learn from a student only four years his minor. (Ziad Semaan)

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The Harmonium in My Memory

Review by David Cornelius. Posted April 12, 2006 at DVD Talk.

There is such a nostalgic sweetness in "The Harmonium In My Memory" that it seems oddly appropriate to find Connie Francis, of all people, on the soundtrack, welcoming us to the film. The long train ride through the Korean countryside is punctuated not with home-grown music, but with "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You." It's a curious choice, and yet it not only plays into a major portion of the story later on, but it sets the film up in a way I don't think a Korean song could; it instantly catches our ear, makes us take just that extra bit of notice.

"Harmonium," adapted from Ha Keum-chan's novel "Female Student" (aka "The Pupil"), is a gentle, bittersweet affair following a year in the life of a small South Korean village (the year being 1963). Into this poor, secluded area comes Kang Soo-ha (Lee Byung-hun, best known Stateside from the brilliant "JSA: Joint Security Area"), a nervous rookie teacher. The local school is a center for chaos, with rowdy students and oddball teachers - and I'm obviously missing the required knowledge of some major part of Korean culture, for there are entire scenes devoted to students having to collect (and then bring into school) their own stool samples.

At the center of this look back on a simpler place and time, we find Yun Hong-yeon (Jeon Do-yeon). She's a bit of a wild child, mad at her brothers for their amazing ability of peeing off the side of the house, mad at the rooster for making so much noise, mad at her mother for not letting her play and enjoy her childhood. She's forced to bring her baby brother to school, changing diapers in the middle of class, which is as embarrassing for a young lass as it sounds.

Yun develops a serious crush on Kang, but alas, he's harboring his own crush on a fellow teacher (Lee Mi-yeon). What we get, then, is a series of overlapping romances, the heartbreak of unrequited love handled with a delicate touch by writer/director Lee Young-jae, who understands how to keep this light and enjoyable despite the sadness that surrounds the piece. (Lee understands that while the overall story may be heartbreaking, there can still be great joy to be had in the little moments, the happy times in which all seems possible.)

"Harmonium" - the title refers to the instrument found in Kang's classroom - stumbles at times, most noticeably in later scenes that rely heavily on melodramatic cliché (there's a fire at the school!). Also, the methodical pacing could use a slight trim, as at 118 minutes, the movie feels a bit overlong.

That said, the sparkling parts of the film are well worth the visit, drawing us into the lives of these fascinating, friendly characters. And the whole thing leads up to a finale that truly pays off, a heartwarming, tear-jerking sequence (topped, then, by a touching bit during the closing credits) that dances around cliché without ever succumbing to it. "Harmonium" is a lovely diversion, a tender coming-of-age drama that captivates despite its flaws.



While not listed as such on the DVD cover, the image is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1). The image is a mixed bag - some shots look simply gorgeous, while others are far too washed out and weak. This could be chalked up to a less than desirable source print. Purely the DVD's fault, however, is the excessive, distracting edge enhancement that's evident through almost the entire feature. Jagged images to this extent are never forgivable - especially when the film itself depends so much on subtle imagery.


The Korean soundtrack is presented in Dolby 5.1 surround, which is a bit more than this low-key drama needs. Fortunately, the mix never oversteps its boundaries, and the movie comes off sounding quite sharp. An alternate Cantonese dub is offered in a less impressive but serviceable 2.0 stereo.

Optional subtitles are available in English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. No complaints here, minus one: a typo tells us that the title is "The Harmoniun In My Memory." Whoops.


Lee Young-jae delivers a solid commentary track, which comes with optional English subtitles.

Some of Lee's comments are repeated in a six-minute video interview, in which he discusses how he wanted to please the audience above all else. As slight as it is, at least it's more useful than the behind-the-scenes portion, which merely presents, narration- and context-free, eight minutes of random footage shot of the making of a handful of key scenes. We get to watch a crowd of extras screaming during the fire sequence - and then they keep screaming, on and on and on. Yawn. Both are presented in 1.33:1 full frame, with clips from the film shown in letterbox format.

Under the heading "MTV," we find a music video for the movie's gorgeous theme song. The video is simply a series of clips from the film edited together. Presented in non-anamorphic widescreen.

Rounding out the extras are a text-only filmographies page providing the rundown on selected cast and crew (no biographies, though) and a collection of trailers for other Tai Seng releases, all offered in non-anamorphic widescreen.

Final Thoughts

Despite a shoddy video presentation, "Harmonium" is worth checking out. Solid performances and gentle direction make this Recommended for those interested in the softer side of Asian cinema, or for anyone looking for a light, sweet drama to fill their evening.

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Source: YesAsia.com

The Harmonium in My Memory is the big-screen adaptation of best-selling Korean novel Female Student. Featuring Korean stars Lee Byung Hun (JSA) and Jeon Do Yeon (Happy End), this touching story of a teenage girl's unrequited first love is sure to make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Living in a slow, rural town in 1963 Korea, 17-year-old Hong Yeon's (Jeon Do Yeon) life suddenly becomes interesting when a handsome young teacher (Lee Byung Hun) from the city comes to her school. Through a daily journal assignment, she shares her earnest adolescent views of the world and growing affection for Su Ha with him. Su Ha, meanwhile, develops a relationship with a fellow teacher (Lee Young Ae Lee Mi Yeon), five years his senior. He sincerely cares about Hong Yeon, but perhaps not in the way she hopes for. With the songs of Connie Franics playing in the background, The Harmonium in My Memory is a beautiful, lingering memory of first love and love lost




The Harmonium in My Memory (Hong Kong Version)


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LBH's so cute and charming in another teacher role, more benign than the one in "Bungee Jumping of Their Own". Hehe! I was giddy when he delivered the English lines "My heart has a mind of its own" and when he sang "How much is that dog in the window?" Isn't his voice lovely? And he's so cute, esp at his shy and awkward attempts to get Lee Mi Yeon's attention.

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LBH's so cute and charming in another teacher role, more benign than the one in "Bungee Jumping of Their Own". Hehe! I was giddy when he delivered the English lines "My heart has a mind of its own" and when he sang "How much is that dog in the window?" Isn't his voice lovely? And he's so cute, esp at his shy and awkward attempts to get Lee Mi Yeon's attention.

Oh dear... I seriously need a recap of Harmonium... remembering only bits and pieces now :sweatingbullets: but he does have a lovely voice and quite the singer, too. :P And his character just love the evergreen songs... but they're not classic yet... according to the storyline, of course. :lol:

Looking at JDY... in her girlish role... if one's not familiar with her and the movie, no one would have guessed her real age. She's just awesome in delivering the role of a naive but sweet young girl with her first crush.

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JDY's great here... as she is in ALL of her other roles. And they are varied! :)

I have to watch it again to do some star-spotting. HanCinema listed Lee Joon (Ji Magnet of "Sweet 18") among the cast. I wonder who he is in "Harmonium...." He must have been so young!

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Harmonium In My Memory

kc3-harmonium.jpg<-- does she look like 26 years old to you?!?!?

Directed by Lee Young-jae. Starring Jeon Do-yeon (The Contact, A Promise), Lee Byung-heon (Bungee Jumping of Their Own, Joint Security Area) and Lee Mi-yeon (Whispering Corridors, No. 3).

Based on Female Student, a popular novel in South Korea, Harmonium In My Memory begins with Kang Soo-ha, a young teacher, starting his first post at a school in Kangwon Province in 1962. As soon as he arrives, Yoon Hong-yeon, a shy seventeen-year-old student, develops a crush on him. However she soon realises that Kang Soo-ha is attracted to Yang Eun-hee, one of his fellow teachers.

Hong-yeon's infatuation with her teacher is beautifully evoked. She studies his every action and word for signs that her feelings are reciprocated, and struggles against her timidity to communicate her feelings to him. Kang Soo-ha proves to be not that far removed from Hong-yeon as he struggles to express his own feelings for Yang Eun-hee.

Although Lee Byung-heon manages to hold his own in the lead role, the children in the cast steal the show from the rest of the adults with their natural performances. Despite what must have been a strong temptation, director Lee Young-jae portrays the students with a commendable lack of sentiment.

Harmonium In My Memory avoids the cliché of a fresh young teacher miraculously providing salvation for his disadvantaged students, and instead focuses on the love triangle between the three leads. However, although the relationships at the films core work well, the rest of the film is not entirely successful. The attempts at humour are hit and miss, with the older teachers portrayed as comic stereotypes that seem to belong in a different film entirely. There are also pacing issues - interest in the film slowly develops over time and it doesn't become fully engaging until the second half. However, the film ultimately redeems itself with a surprisingly effecting conclusion.

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^Hahahaa yoonah... even I've not really seen the caps above, thanks for sharing with us *cool caps!*... BH's so dorky but that's the unique trait about him. He became the character so completely, just as JDY. He's so terribly naive and shy and sweet around LMY in the movie. I really have to watch the movie again... the caps just makes me laugh out loud. :P

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There aren't much pix of this movie actually (or maybe I just don't know where to look). And that one above from byunghunlee.pe.kr is a rare find. I KNEW it would make you happy rubie! And I'm glad. :)

A cartoon version of the movie poster from www.kkpl.co.kr. Too bad it can't get any bigger.


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Altho this is an old movie and I find LBH's hair-do funny, I loved watching it.

It was a sweet poignant love story of a naive and innocent young student to his simple and kind teacher.

Tho I had to think twice about the ending, I still find it pleasant and enjoyable to watch.

JDY is phenomenal as the young student. She is really a versatile actress. LBH, as usual, showed excellence in his performance.

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Lovely captures, yoonah.. didn't know that there's a Thai site sharing Harmonium pics. blush.gif A few, especially of BH & JDY... have never been seen before. Hihi Ella! Good to see you here, a sweet lovely movie to share & talk about!


This isn't really about the movie but something related to it... the poster and cartoon pic of the teacher & student... that coat LBH wears... it holds a very special meaning to him, it was his late father's coat who had just passed away prior to the movie. LBH wears the coat in the movie to remember his father by, as his sign of respect and love.

August 2, 2006

Lee Byung-heon's Fans Hold Charity Bazaar for Flood Victims

Source: KBS Global


The fan club of actor Lee Byung-heon has organized a charity event to raise funds for the victims of recent floods, following Lee's donation of 100 million won on July 31 to help flood relief efforts.

Lee's agency said the actor's official fan club "Rubeurs" announced the charity bazaar on August 1 on their Web site.

Anyone can make donations to the event via a pop-up window on Lee's official Web site (http://www.leebyunghun.com). The event will likely become a multinational charity drive as Rubeurs members include the actor's fans in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

Organized as an auction of Lee's memorabilia, the event will feature some 20 personal items donated by Lee, who praised the effort. One of the donations, a jacket in which the actor posed for the poster of the movie "The Harmonium In My Memory," belonged to Lee's late father. The actor willingly donated the jacket, one of his most treasured items, because he wanted to make meaningful donations for a good cause.

Other memorabilia that have been put up for auction include Lee's sunglasses, a safari jacket, a dress shirt, a necktie, a trench coat and a business suit in which Lee appeared in TV dramas and movies.

The event will continue through August 6. The presented items will be sold to those who offer the highest price.

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