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[Movie 2005] A Bittersweet Life 달콤한 인생

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Hi, I wrote a review of A Bittersweet Life for the Hotelier2002 forum and would like to share it here.

The following review contains major spoilers.

Introduction

I love A Bittersweet Life. I never thought I would love a violent movie but this one gripped me from beginning to end. I want to watch it again just to savor LBH. His portrayal of Sun-woo blew my mind. He was just magnificent. If it wasn’t 2am when I finished, I would have rerun it immediately.

Finally, was it all just a dream? Of course not.

(credit: Hotelier2002.com/forum)

ah!! ..thunder change back her nick ..u never saw the threate version of bittersweet life .there were some parts that were not in the director's cut ...

i saw again that version in singapore .which is also the same korea release version in threate ..!!

i mentioned before .there was a part when ..he went to see her for the first time .when she call him ajushi ...he went out of the house ..walk towards car and was like ..ajushi ? ahha for some reason it dsiappear from the director cut .and what was in the director cut .that was not in the threate version .was the segment ..when he come back to catch them red handed. .the car ..that went past him that make him turn back that was in the director cut only ..

so i think we manage to convince ju .to relook at Bittersweet life ^______________^

finally i did keep some comments i wrote before ..!! so here the repost for the ending !!

of course ..

that is no dream

i think what happen was not a dream ..that last scene was not meant to implied any such dreams ..more rather in my opinion it was just a flashback of when he was being himself the most ..enjoying that brieft moment where he does not need to pretend ..to obey ..to be another man'dog .,those are moments when he can show and express himself ..and when he can simle ..for himself ..did you see how he simle when he box ...just like when he closes his eyes and listen to hee soo music .that same simle ...a moment of sweetness ..in that bitter life ..where he is just only somebody ..to another person .and that person can just decide to end his life ..at the swift of a moment decision ..just like he decide his own fate unknowningly by making a decision of letting the girl and her man live ...everyone make decision no mather how insignificant .it create ripples .that can led to such choas that turn your whole life around or maybe that is just what is part of destiny ...

he wept at the end ....u see those tears ..it is for a sweet dream that come to him but never will come true ..this is too harsh ..he whisper ..why does it had to be so harsh ..why does life had to be so harsh ..

Thunderbolt, are these scenes from the Korean DVD version? Just read from somebody's blog dated a few months back that Bittersweet Life was being re-edited for the Korean DVD release. It said "the director was unhappy with some elements of the film and has gone back to correct those unnamed issues," and that "this new cut will be the one featured in the Korean DVD release."

Those deleted scenes would've given more insight into LBH's character's motivations about doing what he did (ie. deciding to spare shin min ah and her paramour's lives), though some glimpses of tenderness, vulnerability, and susceptibility to shin min ah's charms could be gleaned from lbh's demeanor those few times he spent with her. I especially liked that last scene where he broke into a wide smile watching her play the cello, either simply caught up in the moment or lost in a biting memory.

Not quite certain whether i too have a foot fetish, but LBH does have a beautiful pair of feet! :P

Will be sure to get a copy of the Korean DVD version. In the meantime, my edited vcd will have to keep me warm for now! :D

well ..normally director do that if they want to ..have those cuts included in the DVD version so the DVD for bittersweet life is termed as Director cut edition .certain scenes in it are not what you see in the threate version .but yet there is also cut/deleted scenes which he ..just take it out ..and there is always segement in the DVD ..to show you what was not in the final version ....! .so you can judge for your self ..whether these will make an impact ^^

you can order the korean dvd on online sites .it is available ..........should get one copy ..

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A Bittersweet Life: Director's Cut | 01-09-2005 06:00

After the mind shag that was A Tale of Two Sisters one couldn’t begin to imagine what Kim Ji-wun’s next film would be. Was it even worth him even trying to dabble in another horror? Nope, which is why he finally makes something of a departure with his latest. The director has already well established himself as a solid film maker who can tackle multiple genres. The aforementioned A Tale of Two Sisters and his short, Memories both showcase his extreme talent for horror film making; while his debut The Quiet Family and subsequent feature, The Foul King demonstrates his knack of comedic skill and ingenuity. So, not being one to stick to convention, Kim Ji-wun heads into violent, gangster action territory. A Bittersweet Life is also one big, lavishly violent, simple film - and it’s great.

The story goes a little something like this.

For seven years, Sun Woo (Lee Byung-hun) has acted as an enforcer for one of Korea’s largest crime syndicates led by President Kang (Kim Young-chul), while providing himself with a good cover at the resteraunt “La Dolce Vita”. One day Mr. Kang approaches SunWoo and asks him for a favour: He is going to be taking a business trip for a few days and needs someone to keep their eye on his young girlfriend, Hee Soo (Shin Min-ah). Sun Woo is the only man he can trust and he places a considerable burden upon him. Kang tells Sun Woo that if he finds that Hee Soo is cheating on him and he must take her life. Kang leaves town and Sun Woo heads of to Hee Soo’s house. After a couple of days he catches her in the midst of an affair, which prompts him to offer her and her lover an ultimatum, rather than kill them in cold blood. This is brought on by a growing attraction for the girl, but his decision will ultimately cost him dearly.

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Kim Ji-wun would seem to understand that convoluted plot threads don’t always make grade A material. Rather than bettering himself in that respect he does a complete U-Turn and creates a simple linear structure, while preserving endless details. His three acts are executed stylistically and passionately as he sets up the fracturing of one man’s psyche during a severe bout of communication breakdown. I always felt that The Foul King was the director’s most easily marketable film. Its humour and themes translate well universally and yet it was never capitalised on. Now, with A Bittersweet Life Kim Ji-wun has created something which just might attain as much world recognition as A Tale of Two Sisters and launch itself into classic status alongside some of America, Hong Kong and Japan’s finest revenge flicks.

A Bittersweet Life is still unmistakable Kim Ji-wun material: It has poignancy, dark humour, stylised violence and uniquely beautiful aesthetics which highlight and compliment its central figures and themes. Though its initial premise isn’t wholly original, having owed itself a lot to 70’s, savage cinema and classic 80's Hong Kong its execution is marvellous. Granted it takes a good hour to actually get into gear, after painstakingly setting up its lead character and motivations, but once it hits that half way point it becomes a gloriously violent assault. In many ways its first half is not unlike the director’s previous film; this is where we familiarise ourselves with its environment, which is equally as efficient in creating a bleak atmosphere. And then the entire thing is stripped of its beauty as Sun Woo goes on a bloody rampage. If anything Kim Ji-wun certainly takes new steps in describing violent encounters; A Bittersweet Life - while not perhaps as grotesque as the likes of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy - is more so relentless and quicker paced. And much of this is no doubt glorified. Each act of punishment is carried out realistically, yet is staged as if it were a manga translated. Several encounters become too ridiculous to take seriously, which is where humour comes through to reassure us of its absurdness. It becomes a revelation in the end to see scenes like the one which involves Sun Woo desperately trying to beat an arms dealer to the punch by trying to assemble a Russian firearm when his identity is exposed, or watching the banter between a Korean and Russian, before Sun Woo just gets fed up of them. It’s like Kim Ji-wun is playing with two films here but manages to stay on the rails. In the end it is totally self aware and doesn’t bog itself down in pretentious drivel, despite a little prose placed at the beginning and end.

However, as wonderfully executed as the violence, interiors and acting is the film is a little devoid of emotional development. It’s difficult to connect with Sun Woo’s character as he all too quickly falls for the girl, and while several situations have you rooting for him, the end result is simply numbing, which leaves (this reviewer) indifferent to the outcome. Its message comes through clear and its characters have each met their own fate, but by the time those credits role it soon becomes an easy thing to recover from.

In what is also a departure for Lee Byung-hun, here he goes against his usual type by playing a really hard bastard. Most of his films are romantic dramas, where he’s required to play a lost soul or cool guy for the girl to fall for, with the exception of Joint Security Area which gave him some new material to broaden his range. In A Bittersweet Life he steps up to the task of carrying a difficult role that relies far more on his actions, rather than his pretty boy image. Lee delivers one of his finest roles to date, chewing up the scenery and making short work of his enemies. He’s cool, sophisticated, fearless and soulful, but above all he’s human and he has a dream like everyone else. That dream may or may not be fulfilled during the course of the film but at least his actions are true to himself. Much like Sun Woo, Kim Ji-wun has also stayed true to himself and has once again added another superb film to his already impressive CV.

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The DVD

CJ Entertainment presents this director’s cut in an attractive package. Both discs come in a digi-pack which is inserted into a thin but sturdy card slipcase.

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A/V

Presented in an anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.35:1 A Bittersweet Life is given wonderful treatment. Colours are natural and black levels are pleasingly solid and deep. Contrast is slightly low but totally expected and the many night scenes fare well throughout the film. There is a spot of Edge Enhancement but it’s of a fairly high frequency and isn’t particularly distracting.

For sound we’re spoiled for choice. Korean 6.1 Dolby Digital-EX and Korean 6.1 DTS-ES are available, and I went for the latter. The DTS option features some very impressive effects that take place over the front and back L/R speakers. These range from the multitude of gun battles and fist fights, with various nuances that enhance every point of impact. Naturally the track makes good use of the subwoofer, maintaining great consistency and never takes over the central speaker where dialogue is largely focused. Jang Young-Gyu’s impressive score is catered for extremely well, being spread across the surround speakers and complimenting the action rather nicely.

Extras

Note: As with the majority of Korean DVD release this does not feature English subtitles for the extra features.

Disc one contains two audio commentaries. The first is with Kim Ji-wun, Lee Byung-hun and Kim Young-cheol. The second has Kim Ji-wun, Kim Ji-yong and Ryu Sung-hee.

Disc 2 comes with all the meaty stuff. First up is a feature called “La Dolce Vita”(17.46). This comprises of short interviews with Kim Ji-wun, Lee Byung-hun, Kim Young-cheol, Shin Min-ah, Kim Roi-ha and Hwang Jun-min. Next is “The Making of A Bittersweet Life” (25.36).This is pretty standard, showing the usual behind the scenes stuff which entails costume prepping and setting up shots. There’s some interaction between the cast and crew and some amusing moments here and there. There is also an option to select an audio commentary. “Style of A Bittersweet Life” follows and is quite a sizeable feature. Here we’re taken through several concepts which include Art, Music, Action, Sound, Special Art, Special Effects and CG Footage. Next up is a feature with a Korean title that I don’t understand. This runs for 21.22 and has several of the actors talking into camera, which is then followed by the director saying something. I’ve got no idea what they’re saying but moments look quite funny as some of them break into laughter. “Deleted and Alternate Scenes” come next. There are an impressive 18 scenes in total that come with optional commentary. Next up is a Q&A with DVDPrime members, which runs for 17.17. I presume that everyone is talking about the film. “A Bittersweet Life in Cannes” (7.40) shows various clips, from the cast and crew arriving, to another Q&A. There’s a lot of dialogue which means I can’t really be of much help. “Sweet Sleep” (3.30) shows cast and crew members’ asleep while a song plays and credits role. Finally there is an electronic press kit, which boasts a music video, teaser trailer, main trailer and a TV spot.

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Overall

A Bittersweet Life is another great film in Kim Ji-wun’s cap. It examines the simple things that can change a person’s life, and like the name it carries bitter sentiment. Sun Woo’s journey is a compelling one, even if it doesn’t come together quite so well on an emotional level, and despite us knowing exactly where it‘s heading it‘s a damn fun piece of cinema.

DVD Specs

Region:

3

DVD Released:

28th July 2005

DVD Country:

South Korea

Running Time:

120 minutes

Screen Format:

2.35:1 Anamorphic NTSC

Discs / Sides / Layers:

2 / 1 / Dual

Soundtracks:

Korean 6.1 Surround-EX

Korean 6.1 Surround DTS-ES

Subtitles:

English

Korean

Special Features:

#Audio Commentaries

#Interviews

#Making Of

#Styles

#Deleted and Alternate Scenes

#Q&A

#Cannes Footage

#Sweet Sleep

#EPK

DVD Distributor:

CJ Entertainment

Ratings:

Film 8

Video 8

Audio 10

Extras 8

Overall 8

source: DVD Times

Thanks to iameeh @ Everything Lee Byung Hun, soompi.com

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Thanks rubie, shirley, will get the Director's Cut ASAP! :P And good thing too that I've already seen the film, albeit a mutilated version (but that may be putting it harshly), or I'd be viewing this thread with eyes covered, and only half of the brain taking it all in! :D

Bittersweet Life was included in the original lineup of films to be shown in the Cinemanila to commence a few days from now, but articles about the event published days ago did not mention BSL as one of the featured films in its Pusan tribute. That would've been a great chance to see it on the big screen, and with all the scenes intact or at least as the director would've probably wanted it screened(ie. in its entirety).

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EverythingLBH.com thanks every fan-sharing ardently with our utmost gratitude

Related movie and event captures from various media-portals & fan-sharing at EverythingLBH

Check out more photos compiled at our Gallery 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

A Bittersweet Life 달콤한 인생 2005

Acclaimed Action Noir, Dalkomhan Insaeng 2005

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Sun-woo: One late autumn night, the disciple awoke crying. So the master asked the disciple, "Did you have a nightmare?" "No." "Did you have a sad dream?" "No," said the disciple. "I had a sweet dream." "Then why are you crying so sadly?" The disciple wiped his tears away and quietly answered, "Because the dream I had can't come true."

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Director: Kim Jee Woon

Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Kim Young Chul, Shin Min Ah, Hwang Jung Min, Kim Roi Ha, Jin Goo, Eric Mun, Oh Dal Soo, Kim Han, Oh Kwang Rok, Jeong Yoo Mi

Screenplay: Kim Jee Woon

Info: www.kmdb.or.kr

Related links imdb l Official website recommended l wikipedia l CINE21 l lovehkfilm.com l hamcinema.net l amazon.com l yesasia.com

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YesAsia Editorial Description

From Kim Ji Woon, the director of The Good, The Bad, The Weird and A Tale of Two Sisters, comes the stylish, ultraviolent gangster flick, A Bittersweet Life! Lee Byung Hun (Joint Security Area) stars as Sun Woo, a unique character with a curious lifestyle – he's not only a valued gang member and the proprietor of a hotel bar, but also the right-hand man to the powerful gang leader, Mr. Kang (Kim Young Chul). When Kang suspects that his beautiful young mistress Hee Soo (Shin Min Ah, Volcano High) might be messing around with another man, he enlists Sun Woo's help to resolve the matter, commanding him to follow her around to see what information he can dig up. Sun Woo's orders are explicit: if he catches Hee Soo cheating, he is to execute her – no ifs ands or buts about it. However, when Sun Woo spies Hee Soo with her boyfriend, he makes a stunning decision, one that will have major consequences for all involved!

Although the hit film Crying Fist barely edged it out for the top spot at the box office, A Bittersweet Life is a success in its own right, hailed by critics as a dazzling neo-noir thriller, chocked full of breathtaking cinematography, intriguing characters, and an ample dosage of violence just for good measure. In addition, Lee Byung Hun is earning critical raves for his performance as Sun Woo, a super-cool hitman with motivations all his own. But in the end, will Sun Woo make it out alive? Find out in A Bittersweet Life, a film that highlights the shadowy underbelly of Korean society, a place where the streets are dark with something more than night.

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Review by Darcy Paquet

A Bittersweet Life opens with a gorgeous black and white image of a willow tree tossing in the breeze. As color slowly starts to bleed into the frame, we hear a voiceover by the main character Sun-woo: "On a clear spring day, a disciple looked at some branches blowing in the wind, and asked, 'Master, is it the branches that are moving, or the wind?' Without even looking to where his pupil was pointing, the teacher smiled and said, 'That which moves is neither the branches nor the wind, it is your heart and mind.'"

Sun-woo (Lee Byung-heon) is a man whose heart and mind remain closed to wind, rain, or disruptive emotions. For the past seven years he has served his gangster boss with unflinching exactitude. He manages an upscale bar called La Dolce Vita (which echoes the film's original Korean title), and he despatches people who get in the boss's way with skill and efficiency. The boss (Kim Young-cheol) trusts him so much that he asks Sun-woo to look after his mistress (Shin Min-ah), and to kill her if she is being unfaithful.

A Bittersweet Life posits what might happen if, after all those years, a frozen pysche such as Sun-woo's should suddenly start to melt. This would seem at first to be an overly romantic notion to throw into a Korean-style noir film, where the violence is gut-wrenching and the hero feels no qualms about putting his gun to a man's forehead and pulling the trigger. But the emotions that seep into Sun-woo's mind unleash a recklessness in him, that will later transform into fury once he senses that he has been betrayed.

The familiar stylistic traits of director Kim Jee-woon, seen before in A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), The Foul King (2000), and The Quiet Family (1998), can be spotted here in abundance, and yet he has never made a movie quite like this one. It feels nihilistic at times, and as in Old Boy -- which will surely be compared to this film countless times -- the violence is strong and innovative enough to become a topic of conversation. Mixed in with the cruelty is a bit of absurd, black humor in the middle reels, but not enough to lessen the heavy feel of the work as a whole. The end result is a visually stylish, cool film that is both very commercial (even though it underperformed in both Korea and Japan), and also complex enough to make it hard to pin down.

One way to approach this film is to simply revel in the details. I love the way Lee Byung-heon savors the last bites of his dessert before going downstairs to beat the pulp out of some rival gangsters who have wondered onto his turf. Perhaps in defiance of Korean critics who, after watching A Tale of Two Sisters, accused Kim of having a foot fetish, the director introduces his striking lead actress Shin Min-ah with a huge shot of her bare feet. I love the way Shin Min-ah's home is decorated (production designer Ryu Seong-hee is Korea's most famous; she also worked on Memories of Murder and Old Boy). And finally, I love the ending, even if I can't speak about it here. If the ending of A Tale of Two Sisters disappoints, the final shots of this film make up a sweet, indelible set of images. (Darcy Paquet koreanfilm.org)

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Lee Byung-Hun plays a hard-boiled gangster who gets a glimpse of a better life in this stylish, ultra-violent, and strangely lyrical example of neo-noir from director Kim Jee-Woon. This breathtaking revenge fantasy may seem a bit hollow at times, but the poetic, heart-breaking finale justifies everything that precedes it. Simply put, it's an excellent film.

Review by Calvin McMillin (lovehkfilm.com))

Revenge has never looked as good as it does in A Bittersweet Life, a dazzling neo-noir gangster film from Kim Jee-Woon, director of The Foul King and A Tale of Two Sisters. Lee Byung-Hun, star of Everybody Has Secrets and Joint Security Area, takes on a new kind of role as Sun-Woo, a glum, impeccably dressed enforcer in the employ of a notorious gang leader named Kang (Kim Yeong-Chul). The plot kicks in when the boss asks Sun-Woo to watch over his mistress Hee-Soo (Sin Min-Ah, from Volcano High) to find out if she's having an affair. Sun-Woo's orders are clear: if he catches her cheating on Kang with another man, he is to contact Kang immediately or finish them off himself.

However, when Sun-Woo discovers Hee-Soo with her boyfriend, he chooses to let both of them live. Unfortunately, this gesture of goodwill brings a world of pain onto Sun-Woo as the entire criminal organization sets its sights on punishing him for his act of "betrayal." Bloodied and beaten, Sun-Woo survives the ordeal, eventually embarking on a brutal, bloody trail of vengeance from which no one seems likely to survive. But the strange fact remains: Sun-Woo had been Kang's faithful servant for years, why would he suddenly have a change of heart now? Out of love? Or something more complicated?

Blending the hardboiled cool of classic film noir with the hyper-stylized action of a John Woo film, A Bittersweet Life is a beautiful, wholly engaging cinematic experience. Before Sun-Woo decides to ignore his boss's orders we watch as he slowly comes to an epiphany. However, we're not quite privy to the depth of this realization until the final scene of the film, in which everything that has come before soon makes simple, perfect sense. Once Sun-Woo goes against Kang, the film becomes a visceral, balls-to-the-wall action film as the carnage comes full-force. As far as cinema revenge fantasies, it's not a stretch at all to say that A Bittersweet Life can stand alongside the best of them.

As brutally violent as the film is, it's refreshing to know that the filmmakers retained their sense of humor. Interestingly enough, the film contains a variety of surprisingly comic moments interspersed throughout all the guts and gore. Oddly, A Bittersweet Life can be a remarkably funny film at times.

Anchoring the entire picture is Lee Byung-Hun, who does a fine job inhabiting the role of the enforcer-turned-romantic-turned-unstoppable killing machine. Although Lee's winning good looks certainly add to Sun-Woo's character, he's more than just a pretty face. The actor brings a certain amount of depth to his anti-hero character, which is quite an achievement considering that a fully-realized characterization of Sun-Woo is hampered by the fact that his motivations must not be revealed until the film's ending. Even so, Lee does convey a sense of Sun-Woo's internal life, even if it is something not made readily apparent by the script itself.

The cinematography, costumes, set design, and soundtrack make A Bittersweet Life a visual and aural feast for its audience. Beautiful as it is, it's not hard to see how people might find the proceedings a little superficial. Thankfully, that actually seems to be based on how the film is constructed, as everything is meant to build towards the film's conclusion in which the real meaning behind Sun-Woo's quest for revenge is revealed. Visceral, lyrical, and sometimes even comical, A Bittersweet Life is a complete cinematic experience and contains an ending that brings everything to a suitably bittersweet close. In short, it's a terrific motion picture. (Calvin McMillin, 2005)

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Film Festivals & Awards

58th Festival de Cannes (May 15th, 2005) - Out of Competition

The 38th Edition Sitges Festival (Oct 9-18th, 2005)

Best Original Soundtrack - Dalpalan and Jang Yeong-gyu

25th Hawaii International Film Festival (Oct 20-30th, 2005)

26th Blue Dragon Awards (Nov 29th, 2005)

Best Cinematography - Kim Ji Yong

4th Annual Korean Film Awards (Dec 5th, 2005)

Best Supporting Actor - Hwang Jung Min

25th Korean Critics Awards (Dec 12th, 2005)

Top 10 films of 2005

Best Actor - Lee Byung Hun

Best Music Dalparan, Jang Young-Gyu

13th Chunsa Film Art Awards (Dec 15th, 2005)

Best Actor - Lee Byung Hun

42nd Baeksang Arts Awards (April 14th, 2006)

Best Actor - Lee Byung Hun

The Deauville Asian Film Festival 2006

Best Action Film "Action Asia" Prize - Dir. Kim Jee Woon

A Bittersweet Life - Trailer

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<object ><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9izJOD5Yi4?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

A Bittersweet Life MV directed by Lee Byung Hun

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A Bittersweet Life - Set The Fire To The Third Bar

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Thanks rubie, shirley, will get the Director's Cut ASAP! :P And good thing too that I've already seen the film, albeit a mutilated version (but that may be putting it harshly), or I'd be viewing this thread with eyes covered, and only half of the brain taking it all in! :D

Bittersweet Life was included in the original lineup of films to be shown in the Cinemanila to commence a few days from now, but articles about the event published days ago did not mention BSL as one of the featured films in its Pusan tribute. That would've been a great chance to see it on the big screen, and with all the scenes intact or at least as the director would've probably wanted it screened(ie. in its entirety).

ah i think it is not likely director cut get released on big screens .that is why there is a demand for the director cut edition :) this is one of those movies you need to watch in the threate ..^^ sometimes it make it worse if you watch a multilated copy and assume that is the whole movie ..^ i hope you can to at least watch a decent version of the movie ..^^ ..

here an site that might be of interest

the official site .with english version .

http://www.d-o-e-s.com/collection/bittersweet/

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Movie trailers

- Korean version

mms://media1.maxmovie.com/av/Maxsweetlifetrailer.wmv

or

- Japanese version

mms://www.herald.co.jp/2005/amaijinsei/tokuhou_high.wmv

Credits:

maxmovie.com 예측불허 Nippon Herald, lovelbh.com & Lucy at www.leebyunghun.com.

---------------------------------

The translation for the Korean trailer:

It attracts peoples attention and curiosity about the story..

Anyway, for foreign fans, here is what he said in the trailer.

BH said " why did you do this to me..?" "please tell me!" and

the Boss's narration about the reason (basically abstract of the movie) following.

"Several years ago, I had a very clever guy.. but oneday I give him a order and he made mistake. But strange thing is that he did not accept that he made a mistake..finally, that makes him to lost his one hand.. This time, one hand is not enough"

after BH turn the wall and disappeard, there is a gun shot and following BH's voice "But, I can not go back.."

Credits:

Translated by BB at www.leebyunghun.com

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wth was eric casted for....he juss walks around and then at the end kill lee byung hyun...and im sure that without eric lee byung hyun would die anywayz because he wa slike shot more than a million times...-.-;; i truly do not get the existence of him in the movie except strut his hotness.....

and about shim minah??? did she even like lee byung hun? and whatz up with the lamp.....-.-;; so many questionz i think imma stop now

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wth was eric casted for....he juss walks around and then at the end kill lee byung hyun...and im sure that without eric lee byung hyun would die anywayz because he wa slike shot more than a million times...-.-;; i truly do not get the existence of him in the movie except strut his hotness.....

and about shim minah??? did she even like lee byung hun? and whatz up with the lamp.....-.-;; so many questionz i think imma stop now

LOL :lol:

Just watch it over and over again.

It'll help you understand the movie better.

I've watched it about 10 times and I've been able to find new things.

And it never gets old.

I'm satisfied with the movie, not that I think the plots and storylines were great, but I'm glad it was a "cool" movie from Korea. Just like what the director wanted to do.

Still a long way to something like Pulp Fiction et la... but Korean movies are getting better and better! ;)

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^

Hi, welcome to Bittersweet Life thread!

Totally agree with you The Moose, this is one of the coolest movies coming out of Korea. I'm not a fan of action+violent movies but Director Kim Ji Woon makes it rather interesting to follow and watch. There were 'hints' in the movie on why Sunwoo strayed from his objective... very subtly yet enough to make the audience understood his reason (maybe better than the character himself :P )... maybe not for all but it's there alright.

chibikko, glad that you like the trailers + translation.

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Hi, welcome to Bittersweet Life thread!

Totally agree with you The Moose, this is one of the coolest movies coming out of Korea. I'm not a fan of action+violent movies but Director Kim Ji Woon makes it rather interesting to follow and watch. There were 'hints' in the movie on why Sunwoo strayed from his objective... very subtly yet enough to make the audience understood his reason (maybe better than the character himself :P )... maybe not for all but it's there alright.

chibikko, glad that you like the trailers + translation.

Yup!

Love the soundtrack from the movie as well.

"Sky Lounge" "달콤한 인생" "불안한 잠" etc

Best soundtrack from a movie since 21 Days Later in 2003.

Wish I knew how to do the background music on my ClubBox.

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^yep. This movie is one of the best for this year and one of the best ever. I have a feeling this movie is going to do very well when award show season comes up in Korea at the end of this year :D

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The Moose, I don't know much about ClubBoxes except for downloading from one, once in a while. :lol: Hope someone will help you with the background music.

And speaking of soundtrack, I found these to share from the previous movie thread. :) The tracks are simply haunting!

A BITTERSWEET LIFE OST

a foretaste: credits to daramji*

http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?s=&...ndpost&p=151634

BUY THE ORIGINAL from YESASIA.COM

A Bittersweet Life OST Special Edition

http://global.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/...ic/version-all/

Customer Rating: 5 STARS

"A bittersweet life – ready to spin multiple rounds on your CD player!

Even though the latest big screen sensation from Korea isn't playing at one of your nearest cinemas yet, you will be more than pleased to get a hold of the blockbuster's original soundtrack. Being the first Korean film that hits the Japanese theaters only about 3 weeks after its local premier (it opened in Korea on 1 April and its Japan release is scheduled for 23 April in Japan), this is one of the coming attractions all cinema devotees should keep an eye out for.

As far as the movie's OST is concerned, music lovers can look forward to catchy tunes by electronica rock band Dalparan for track numbers 6, 8-11, 13 and 14). A delight of another kind comes your way via the film's R&B overflowing theme song A Bittersweet Life (track 19) that is sung by Yang Pa who makes a surprise comeback after an extensive artistic break of 4 years. Last but not least, "Romance" by Japan's new age piano virtuoso Kuramoto Yuki also promises to become one of the songs you won't mind listening to all day long.

This version comes with exclusive A Bittersweet Life post cards (set of 5). Don't miss this collector's treat."

Product Information

Product Title : A Bittersweet Life OST Special Edition

Singer Name(s) : Korean Movie Soundtrack | Yangpa | Kuramoto Yuki

Release Date : April 7, 2005

Language : Korean

Subtitle : No Subtitle

Package Weight : 100 g

Publisher : Pony Canyon (KR)

Credits to daramji*, shared by Cha Park @ Everything Lee Byung Hun.

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May 16, 2005

A BITTERSWEET LIFE
By DEREK ELLEY variety.com

An ice-cool enforcer pays a horrendous penalty for a moment of emotional weakness in “A Bittersweet Life,” a tour de force of nourish style and Korean ultra-violence that will have genre fans nailed to their seats. More sensitive souls, and anyone looking for deep psychological insights, may head for the exit well before the end, though on its own level pic does sport sufficient emotional motivation to justify the carnage. With the name of writer-director Kim Jee-woon (“The Quiet Family,” “A Tale of Two Sisters”) attached, film has strong chances as a cult item, with ancillary looking particularly meaty.

bsl_celina1.jpg

Banner by Celina

Even by Korean standards of movie brutality, “Bittersweet Life” raises the bar to a new level, way above pics like “Old Boy” or “Nowhere to Hide.” But the violence, apart from having an unreal, manga-like quality, is part and parcel of the film’s overall stylization, from the use of chilly, David Lynchlike colors (gangreney greens, sanguinary magentas, stygian blacks) to the whole generic catalog of rain and chiaroscuro lighting. Story spirals out from a single event, when Seon-woo (Lee Byeong-cheol, the young soldier in “JSA”) comes to sort out a problem in the noirish hotel he manages. Three gangsters are drunk and disorderly in a private room, and when they refuse to leave Seon-woo whips richard simmons in a spectacular display of martial arts. The men’s boss, Baek (Hwang Jeongmin), demands payback, but Seonwoo doesn’t seem bothered.

In reality, Seon-woo is a coldblooded enforcer for gang leader Kang (Kim Yeong-cheol), who looks upon him as a rising star in the org but warns him that careers can often be irreparably damaged by a single mistake. Due to go away on a short business trip, Kang asks Seon-woo to keep an eye on his latest squeeze, Huei-su (Kim Min-ah), whom he suspects is seeing someone else. If true, Kang tells Seon-woo to fix the problem. Seon-woo spends time with Heui-su, and falls for the gentle young cellist’s charms. When he catches her canoodling with another guy, Seon-woo hesitates at the last moment from killing him and offers to hush the affair up if the guy disappears forever. It’s a decision that changes his life. Baek, meanwhile, recruits the leader of another gang, Oh Musung (Lee Gi-yeong), to help out in getting Seon-woo to apologize. In one long night of appalling violence, Seon-woo is beaten to a pulp, strung up in a warehouse, has his hand smashed with a wrench, and is buried alive in a muddy grave. 

And that’s just for starters.

As Seon-woo crawls out of the grave, he finds Kang has discovered his subterfuge over Heui-su’s affair. But as Kang’s men get ready to bury him alive again, Seon-woo manages to escape in the pic’s action highlight, a superbly staged, one-against-many fight in a tumbledown warehouse, with firebrands as weapons. Now it’s Seon-woo who wants payback, and at the 70-minute mark the movie radically changes tack with the introduction of guns. After a semi-comic interlude in which Seon-woo does business with a Russian supplier, the stage is set for ballistic bedlam. 

Lee Byung-hun's tightly coiled performance as the arrogant, hairtrigger Seon-woo, who’ll go all the way to defend a moment of beauty in his loveless life, is the key to the whole movie, recalling Hong Kong thesp Jimmy Wang Yu’s lonesome, masochistic heroes in swordplay pics of the late ’60s and early ’70s. On-screen almost the whole time, Lee holds his own against a raft of strong character actors, including Kim Yeong-cheol as the avuncular but ruthless Kang, Lee Gi-yeong as the psychopathic Oh, and Jin Gu as cocky underling Min-gil.

By the final act, the film has long left the realm of reality as Seonwoo battles on despite crippling wounds. But this won’t bother fans of Far East manga and swordplay movies. Tech and artistic package is immaculate, with mood piled on by every department. Martial arts choreography by Korean maestro Jeong Du-hong is skillfully edited by Choi Jae-geun, with music and sound effects thwacking home the action.

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ah i think it is not likely director cut get released on big screens .that is why there is a demand for the director cut edition :) this is one of those movies you need to watch in the threate ..^^ sometimes it make it worse if you watch a multilated copy and assume that is the whole movie ..^ i hope you can to at least watch a decent version of the movie ..^^ ..

here an site that might be of interest

the official site .with english version .

http://www.d-o-e-s.com/collection/bittersweet/

Thanks shirley! Might not be possible to catch it in theaters, so will have to get the Director's Cut soon! And the OST too while I'm at it since everybody says it's good! :)

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In a two words: stylish violence.

Ok, where to begin?

Making Of (Streaming, Windows Media)

mms://media1.maxmovie.com/av/Maxdalcommaking.wmv

200503301518211.gif

An Interview with Film Director Kim Ji-Woon (Streaming, Windows Media)

mms://media1.maxmovie.com/av/Maxintvkim_sweetlife.wmv

200503301522561.jpg200503301521471.jpg

200503301523501.jpg

200503241309381.jpg

An Interview with Shin Min-Ah (Streaming, Windows Media)

mms://media1.maxmovie.com/av/Maxintv_sinmina.wmv

200503241154231.jpg200503241154232.jpg

200503241159391.jpg200503241159392.jpg

200503241152531.jpg

Via: Maxmovie

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August 8, 2005

 

London Calling: A Bittersweet Life and The Black Narcissus

By Evrim Ersoy 

posting related excerpt

Well that's the week's releases. Now I want to talk to you about something very special. A movie I encountered this week called 'A Bittersweet Life'. A Bittersweet Life is a South Korean movie that was recently at the cinemas and has just been release on DVD. I have been hearing quite a few good reviews about it for a while now and had been looking forward to see it. 

Let me tell you that at first I wasn't impressed. No, actually until the last twenty to twenty five minutes I can genuinely say that I felt slightly disappointed. What was before me was very pretty to look at with wonderful colors and gorgeous cinematography (even though the fight scenes are marred by the usual close shots and quick cuts), I still could not see why the film had struck such a chord.

But then...My god...those last twenty minutes changed me around, three hundred and sixty degrees. Ladies and Gentleman I was topsy turvy and open mouthed.

Its with slight apprehension that I admit that I cry at the movies. I cant help it. If a film is emotional I start weeping. If its extremely beautiful tears start to fall. It’s a habit and dammit I care not for changing it.

And this film made me weep. Not sob sob but just quietly, almost contemplatively. I don’t want to ruin the film for anyone so I am tempted to do a special this week on a different part just analyzing the film so let me just say See it. If you can obtain a copy now, go and buy it. There are sites which deliver Asian DVD’s. If you cant play such things, wait until Frightfest and see it. They are showing the film and you can find the time if you look on the website. It will also give you a chance to experience a great festival. But whatever happens go see the damn thing. Make me happy. You will know I am right once the credits finish. Which you should watch until the end so you don’t miss anything.

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Hi midnight sun, you've seen Bittersweet Life? Haha... in two words... totally agree! :lol:

Welcome to the thread! Wow... these are nice sharing... SMA looked great in darkblue/purple and white.Thanks!

^

You're welcom :).

Sorry, I had to split my post in two (way too many pics for one post). Thanks for the welcom :).

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