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[Movie 2017] Single Rider 싱글라이더

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Another excellent review for SINGLE RIDER  user posted image

March 12, 2017

'A Single Rider': Film Review | Filmart 2017 

by Elizabeth Kerr THR

THE BOTTOM LINE

A reflective and refreshing character-driven drama.  

Warner Bros. continues its foray into Korean language releases with Lee Zoo-young’s debut, starring Lee Byung-hun.

Following last year’s juggernaut The Age of Shadows, Warner’s entry into the Korean market takes an indie turn with first-time filmmaker Lee Zoo-young’s A Single Rider, a marked departure from standard Korean drama of the last few years. Headlined by superstar Lee Byung-hun (Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven), the Sydney set and shot meditation on regret sees Lee as a Korean George Bailey of sorts, reevaluating his place in the world after his business goes belly up. A quiet, thoughtful film, which the Korean industry seems to have abandoned for blazing action and brutal violence in recent years, A Single Rider’s status as a thematic and stylistic outlier could earn it an audience in Asia and overseas urban markets, where Lee’s name above the title carries some weight. As pretty as Sydney is, director Lee’s visuals are largely prosaic, making download and streaming services a strong option as well.

A Single Rider begins with securities broker Kang Jae-hoon (Lee) facing the wrath of investors when an investment turns out to be stock fraud, and the firm files for bankruptcy. Disgraced and broke, Jae-hoon packs up his home office in Seoul and books a ticket to Sydney, where his wife Soo-jin (Kong Hyo-jin) and son Jin-woo (Yeong Yoo-jin) live in order for Jin-woo to get an education. Things go from bad to worse, as Jae-hoon finds himself a visitor in his own life: Soo-jin has rediscovered her love of music and she’s made fast friends with her neighbor, Chris (Jack Campbell), a construction worker. He lurks around the Bondi street Soo-jin lives on and makes the locals suspicious, but never finds the strength to let his family know he’s there. When he realizes Soo-jin is making plans to apply for permanent residency, Jae-hoon is compelled to make a decision as to whether or not to let his family go.

There’s a decidedly Shyamalan-esque element to A Single Rider that astute viewers will likely cotton on to, one that can either been read as gratuitously gimmicky or genuinely surprising, depending on one’s tolerance for whimsy. Either way, writer-director Lee manages to balance the film’s sillier parts with its introspective tone without ever falling into indulgence, or for that matter groan-worthy sentimentality.

That has much to do with Lee’s singular focus, and her thorough grasp on the idea that the meat of the story is in Jae-hoon’s few days of contemplation—on his personal and professional regrets, on the choices that brought him to this point, and on his quest for redemption, for which he may be using Gina (K-Pop star most recently seen in Train to Busan) as a conduit. She’s been duped out of every dime she earned on a working holiday and is stranded in Oz.

Lee brings a delicate, feminine touch to the (now) familiar financial malfeasance that has served as a running leitmotif, if not outright plot thread, in so much recent Korean filmmaking. She very consciously, and refreshingly, turns her gaze on the people affected by out-of-control banks rather than spinning an action thriller out of the material. Jae-hoon’s work afforded him a swank Seoul apartment, a postcard perfect Australian house and school for his son. But it also cost him his dignity and his wife, whose time away has allowed her to pursue her career as a concert violinist and possibly enter into an egalitarian new relationship. That being said, Lee used a timely and intensely present subject as her springboard, but anything could have been the catalyst for Jae-hoon’s internal journey.

A Single Rider has its flaws: more than a handful of emotional beats don’t quite resonate as vividly as they should, Gina’s story is very nearly an fatal weak link, it’s unlikely Australian cops deal with missing dogs and some of Lee and cinematographer Kim Il-youn’s images are a bit on the nose. Admittedly, there is a narrative turn that corrects many of the film’s more “Huh?” moments in retrospect. Of course, none of it would work without Lee, who turns in the kind of nicely modulated performance he gets to do so infrequently now: Rider is more low-key A Bittersweet Life than ostentatious Master. He gets solid support from Kong (Missing’s unstable nanny) as a woman discovering her own agency and grappling with what to do with it. Technical specs are excellent.

Production company: Perfect Storm Film Co., Ltd.

Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Kong Hyo-jin, An So-hee Jack Campbell, Yeong Yoo-jin, Leeanna Walsman, Annika Whiteley, Baek Soo-jang, Kay Eklund

Director: Lee Joo-young

Screenwriter: Lee Zoo-young

Producer: Kang Myung-chan, Kim Young-hoon, Ha Jung-woo

Executive producer: Choi Jae-weon

Director of photography: Kim Il-youn

Production designer: Han Ah-rum

Costume designer: Chae Kyung-hwa

Editor: Kim Sang-beom, Kim Jae-bum

Music: Cho Young-wook

World sales: M-Line Distribution

 

In Korean and English

No rating, 96 minutes

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March 18, 2017

March Film Actor Brand Reputation Rankings Revealed

Source: Soompi by U. Kim 

gong yoo lee byung hun kim soo hyun

The Korea Business Research Institute revealed their March brand reputation rankings for film actors based on their findings from 36,256,666 pieces of data gathered from February 17 to March 17.

“Goblin” star Gong Yoo takes first place for the third month in a row with a score of 5,681,565. This is a 47.04 percent increase from his score last month.

Second place goes to Lee Byung Hun who recently starred in the movie “Single Rider.”

The full rankings can be seen below:

Spoiler

 

1. Gong Yoo
2. Lee Byung Hun
3. Kim Soo Hyun
4. Jo Jin Woong
5. Jun Ji Hyun
6. Hyun Bin
7. Jung Woo Sung
8. Jo In Sung
9. Han Ji Min
10. Yoo Hae Jin
11. Ha Jung Woo
12. Jung Woo
13. Yoo Ah In
14. Han Hyo Joo
15. Kim Hye Soo
16. Kang Dong Won
17. Sol Kyung Gu
18. Hwang Jung Min
19. Lee Jung Jae
20. Jeon Do Yeon
21. Cha Seung Won
22. Lee Beom Soo
23. Song Kang Ho
24. Son Ye Jin
25. Choi Min Sik

Source (1)

 

 

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Another good feedback from Hancinema reviewer :)

March 18, 2017

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Single Rider"

Source: Hancinema.net

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Jae-hoon (played by Lee Byung-hun) is a fund manager currently living in South Korea having sent his wife Soo-jin (played by Gong Hyo-jin) off to Australia a year prior. A bad situation leaves Jae-hoon deciding to cross over the ocean himself to see what exactly Soo-jin has been up to, although for various reasons Jae-hoon is reluctant to try and approach her directly. He actually ends up talking more to Jin-ah (played by Ahn So-hee), a young traveler who like Jae-hoon has met a similar unwelcome fate.

Don't overestimate Jin-ah's importance- her role in "Single Rider" is largely metaphorical. Sure, Sydney may look beautiful. Especially in the context of flashbacks, it's easy to attribute the improvement in Soo-jin's mood as being because of the magic of Australia, and the excellent cinematography would make for a pretty good tourist pitch. But seeing what happens to Jin-ah, it's quite obvious that Australia is just as potentially toxic an environment as anywhere else in the world.

No, Soo-jin is able to achieve happiness largely through an alteration of her state of mind. Jae-hoon, for all his best efforts, was not making Soo-jin happy. And the bizarre part is, this wasn't really his fault. Jae-hoon could see that Soo-jin was unhappy, and not really knowing any way to directly solve that problem, he sent her off to Australia in the hopes that she would be able to resolve these issues herself.

You know that old cliché, about how if you really love a person, you'll let them be happy without you? Jae-hoon went and actually did that, which is why "Single Rider" takes on such a morose tone. Jae-hoon is not satisfied with just Soo-jin being happy. He wants to be happy too. It is only once Jae-hoon reaches Australia that he starts to realize this. Consequently, horror sets in as Jae-hoon realizes that there are now no other options except to mope around the streets aimlessly, torn on whether or not he should confront Soo-jin.

While consistently sad throughout, it's only right at the end, when the perspective shifts from Jae-hoon to Soo-jin, that the melancholy really hits a powerful crescendo. It's counter-intuitive at times, really, thinking about how even when they are with others, Jae-hoon and Soo-jin are such fundamentally lonely people. The same could be said of just about any character we see save for the children. They actually manage to unambiguously optimistically enjoy life. Good for them.

It's also how writer/director Lee Zoo-young is able to manage this mood so effectively. Almost nothing actually happens in "Single Rider". The few moments of importance only look that way in retrospect- we never realize the significance at the time. It's fitting how Jae-hoon and Soo-jin too are in that situation, wanting so badly to have realized all this back when there was still time. Kudos to Lee Byung-hun and Gong Hyo-jin for so effectively being able to pull off that haunted sense of quiet, powerful introspection, that constantly tries and fails to relieve the dark pain lingering deep in their souls.

Review by William Schwartz

"Single Rider" is directed by Lee Zoo-young and features Lee Byung-hun, Gong Hyo-jin and Ahn So-hee.

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Art by archive502

Spoiler

I saw it when I went down.
The flower that I did not see when I climbed
The movie tells the whole poem of Ko-eun poet at the beginning of the movie
Lee Byung-hun, even though he saw the devil, but his emotional performance seems to be the best.
Single rider
A sad but recommended movie
This movie is very good .. # Single Rider # Movie review # Byung-heon Lee #illustration # Illustration # Movie #singlerider #movie #gihoon

 

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Photo: jackcampbell_la

Relaxing with Lee Byung-hun between scenes in "A Single Rider"

#byunghunlee #ByungHunLee was great to work with & he's a very cool #actor #leebyunghun #sydneyharbourbridge #isawthedevil #insidemen #master #terminator #onset #setlife #behindthescenes #sydney #singlerider #asinglerider #korean #korea #koreanfilm #SouthKorea #Seoul #asian #asia 

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March 9, 2017

Lee Byung Hun's emotional acting in Single Rider left everyone in awe

Source: Netizentown

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[+603, -136] 10/10 It was a good movie to look back on our lives when the media is mainly composed of irritating content such as murder rape and serial killings! Lee Byung-hun Gong Hyo-jin Ahn So-hee solitude, loneliness, materialism, reality. Looking back on each other's life, asking questions about ourselves

[+468, -65] 10/10 How does one live a full life...

[+498, -126] 10/10 So calm yet heavy... Great acting by everyone

[+504, -144] 9/10 Lee Byung Hun's tears would convince anyone

[+424, -99] 10/10 For the actors sensitive acting, I give a 10/10 rating

[+399, -59] 10/10 I just watched it on the day it was released.
You can go see it with someone.
But it is recommended to watch it alone.
Feel the loneliness of Lee Byung Hun in the movie and his monologues ..
As time goes on, you will feel a desolation and loneliness that will not be soon forgotten

[+347, -85] 8/10 The story of Kang Jae Hoon, his journey, the events unfolding.... The presence of Lee Byung Hun and his aura are overwhelming

[+314, -78] 10/10 Really moved me. Lee Byung Hun did so well

[+278, -46] 10/10 I was left with a feeling of loneliness that is difficult to express in words...

[+245, -39] 10/10 It's been a few hours since I saw it... and I'm still struggling

[+248, -65] 10/10 I saw it at the theater today and I keep thinking about it. A movie that stays with you... Lee Byung Hun is truly an acting God.

[+216, -50] 10/10 When a movie ends, it gets forgotten over time but how come this one doesn't...

[+189, -34] 10/10 My heart is heavy. A movie like Single Rider that makes you think about what really matters, is recommanded

[+174, -30] 10/10 Wow. I want to see it by myself again. A movie that makes you look back on your life

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April 7, 2017

53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Nomination:  Movie Category

Source: Naver

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The 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards has released the nomination list for this year's award ceremony to be held at the COEX D Hall, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on May 3 (5:00 pm).

MOVIE Category (Source: Kkuljaem)

Best Movie 

The Wailing  

The Age of Shadows 

Train to Busan

The Handmaiden

Asura

Best Director 

Kim Sung Soo (Asura)

Kim Ji Woon (The Age of Shadows) 

Na Hong Jin (The Wailing) 

Park Chan Wook (The Handmaiden),

Hong Sang Soo (On the Beach at Night Alone)

Best New Director

Yeon Sang Ho (Train to Busan)

Yoon Ga Eun (The World of Us)

Lee Yo Seob (The Queen of Crime)

Lee Joo Young (A Single Rider)

Lee Hyun Joo (Our Love Story) 

Best Actor 

Kwak Do Won (The Wailing)

Song Kang Ho (The Age of Shadows)

Yoo Hae Jin (Luck Key)

Lee Byung Hun (Master)

Ha Jung Woo (Tunnel)

Best Actress

Kim Min Hee (The Handmaiden) 

Kim Hye Soo (Familyhood)

Son Ye Jin (The Last Princess) 

Yoon Yeo Jung (The Bacchus Lady)

Han Ye Ri (Worst Woman)

Best Supporting Actor 

Kim Eui Sung (Train to Busan)

Ma Dong Seok (Train to Busan)

Bae Sung Woo (The King)

Eom Tae Gu (The Age of Shadows) 

Jo Jin Woong (The Handmaiden)

Best Supporting Actress

Kim So Jin (The King)

Ra Mi Ran (The Last Princess)

Bae Doo Na (Tunnel)

Chun Woo Hee (The Wailing)

Han Ji Min (The Age of Shadows)

Best New Actor 

Do Kyungsoo (Brother)

Ryu Jun Yeol (The King)

Woo Do Hwan (Master)

Ji Chang Wook (Fabricated City)

Han Jae Young (New Trial)

Best New Actress

Kim Tae Ri (The Handmaiden)

Kim Hwan Hee (The Wailing)

Yoona (Confidential Assignment)

Lee Sang Hee (Our Love Story),

Choi Soo In (The World of Us)

Best Screenplay

The Wailing (Na Hong Jin)

The Age of Shadows (Lee Ji Min /Park Jong Dae)

The Handmaiden (Park Chan Wook/Jung Seo Jung)

Asura (Kim Sung Soo)

The World of Us (Yoon Ga Yoon) 

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Fan vote at Hancinema.net, just for fun -- doesn't affect the actual Baeksang Awards user posted image

April 10, 2017

53rd Baeksang Arts Awards 2017 - Movies : Nominees List

Source: ISplus via Hancinema.net (VOTE page)

photo837599.jpg

53rd Baeksang Arts Awards 2017 will be held on May, 3 2017, here are the nominees for movies.

Please note that your vote on HanCinema is not taken into account

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Thanks to the highlight by Angel 70, SINGLE RIDER to be released in Taiwan on May 12

Published on May 2, 2017 by 官方帳號 可樂電影Cola films

 

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Thanks to the highlight by Angel 70, message from GHJ & LBH on SINGLE RIDER release in Taiwan 5/12

Published on May 18, 2017 by 官方帳號 可樂電影Cola films

 

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Thanks to Barbara at LBH soompi for the translation user posted image

May 30, 2017

A translation of Lee Byung Hun's  Greetings to Taiwan fans for the promotion of the movie " Single Rider. "

(Grateful thanks to Angel 70 for the original post")

Screen%20Shot%202017-05-30%20at%209.07.4

Credit:  Cola films Facebook 

"Taiwan fans Hello everyone, I am Lee Byung Hun.  Long time no see!  With a long absence, I am using the movie “Single Rider”  to meet Taiwan fans.  The movie “Single Rider”  will make people think about what modern living is all about?  Are we trying to achieve a small goal and forget what is really important?  This movie is based upon this point of view.  I hope you will be moved by this movie.  I also hope you will have a lot of feelings.  I look  forward to be able to meet with Taiwan fans very soon.   Wish everyone good health.  Thank you!"

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May 31, 2017

Hollywood, Netflix make inroads into Korean film industry

By Jason Bechervaise The Korea Times

Spoiler

warrior-of-the-dawn.jpg

 
A scene from Jeong Yoon-cheol's "Warriors of the Dawn" starring Lee Jung-jae and Yeo Jin-goo. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Korea

This week sees the release of 20th Century Fox Korea's period epic "Warriors of the Dawn" directed by Jeong Yoon-cheol ("Marathon"). Then on June 29, Bong Joon-ho's "Okja," fully funded by the streaming giant Netflix will be released in Korea's multiplexes as well as online.

The market is changing and it is interesting that Korean directors are deciding to work with Hollywood studios and in Bong Joon-ho's case, Netflix. No doubt, there are various reasons for this, but creative freedom is evidently one of them.

Last year, it was no coincidence that two of the best films were produced by Hollywood studios. Na Hong-jin's "The Wailing" and Kim Jee-woon's "The Age of Shadows" were produced by Fox International Productions (FIP) and Warner Bros. Korea, respectively.

Spoiler

okja(2).jpg

 
A scene from Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" featuring local and international talent: Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal and Byun Hee-bong. Courtesy of Netflix

Although directors like Bong, Kim, Na or Park Chan-wook will generally be given the freedom to do what they wish when it comes to their projects, both "The Wailing" and "The Age of Shadows" were different from other commercial fare. They were more daring both visually and thematically too.

Bong too was guaranteed full creative autonomy on his latest film, though he stated in a recent press conference with the Korean press in Cannes, one of his reasons for choosing Netflix was because of its high budget ($57 million). A locally produced film with this budget would take away funds from other Korean projects meaning fewer films could be made.

Going back, FIP invested in local productions in 2010 with a 20 percent stake in Na's "The Yellow Sea." Then in 2013, they fully financed "Running Man" starring Shin Ha-kyun and directed by Jo Dong-ho. It wasn't a big hit with critics, but it did manage to accumulate a respectable 1.4 million admissions at the box office. 

Their next project "Slow Video" (2014) directed by Kim Young-tak featuring Cha Tae-hyun and Nam Sang-mi and, more comedic in nature, pulled in over 1.1 million viewers. Certainly not a spectacular success, but not a disastrous tally either.

However, FIP's third film, "Intimate Enemies" (2015) was a catastrophic failure. Ironic perhaps, given that it was the first film to be helmed by a director with a strong reputation both locally and overseas, Im Sang-soo.

Spoiler

wailing.jpg


A scene from Na Hong-jin's "The Wailing" starring Kwak Do-won and Hwang Jung-min. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Korea

The film bombed at the local box office attracting a measly 133,533 admissions, and it failed to travel on the festival circuit. Critically too, the film was seen as bit of a mess.

But the studio made an emphatic comeback last year with Na's acclaimed "The Wailing" that was invited to Cannes and was FIP's biggest locally produced hit yet amassing an impressive 6.8 million admissions fuelled by strong word of mouth.

Also released last year was Warner Bros.' first Korean-language project "The Age of Shadows" that repeated the success of "The Wailing" locally selling 7.5 million tickets, while on the festival circuit it was invited to a major European film festival, Venice, and then went to Toronto.

Warner Bros. Korea also financed the low budget film "Single Rider" starring Gong Hyo-jin and Lee Byung-hun released earlier this year.

For the Hollywood studios, it makes sense to enter the Korean market. Koreans on average see four films per year; two of which are local films, with total annual theater admissions surpassing 200 million for the past four years. Therefore, it is seen not only as a major market for Hollywood films along with China, Japan and countries in Europe such as the U.K. but also one in which the local industry thrives.

Spoiler

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A scene from "The Age of Shadows" starring Song Kang-ho alongside Gong Yoo. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Korea

A further incentive is found when one considers the abundance of talent found in Korea, and not just in terms of directors. Actors, actresses, cinematographers, writers, producers, composers, editors and so on and so forth make an immense contribution to what is seen as Korean cinema. This is why the production values in Korean films are generally very high, and a factor behind the growth of Korean cinema overseas. It thus makes sense to invest in local content.

But what is crucial is that these studios understand the Korean market, which is why FIP Korea is headed by Kim Ho-sung, an established and talented producer ("Masquerade") and the Warner Bros. Korea chief is Jay Choi ("The Attorney"), a very influential film producer. They then collaborate with local production companies to make Korean-language films.

Netflix has a presence in Korea through its online service, but is also reliant on local partners such as Lewis Pictures which produced "Okja" to make their Korean-language content. Lewis Pictures is collaborating with Kim Jee-woon on his next film, "Jin-Roh," which is being financed and distributed by Warner Bros. Korea.

What is also striking is the pace of some of these productions. While "The Wailing" was in post-production for over a year, "Jin-Roh" goes into production in July less than a year after "The Age of Shadows" was released.

Looking ahead, Park Hoon-jung's spy thriller "V.I.P." _ also a Warner Bros. Korea title _ is expected to be released later this year. The studio is also to produce Lee Jeong-bum's "Bad Lieutenant."

Turning to the present, industry observers will see whether FIP can replicate the success of "The Wailing" with their new project "Warriors of the Dawn," which is the first period film to be financed by a Hollywood studio. Starring Lee Jung-jae, it follows a group of proxy soldiers who try to protect a new crown prince.

But the question many are asking is regarding "Okja." Will audiences flock to the cinema when the film is also available online? The implications for the local and global industry of such a release could be far reaching.

Jason Bechervaise is a movie columnist for The Korea Times. He can be reached at jase@koreanfilm.org.uk.

jase@koreanfilm.org.uk.

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Kang Jae Hoon, the SINGLE RIDER is making a trip from Sydney to New York.

Source: Film Society Lincoln Center

NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2017

A Single Rider - Sing-geul Ra-i-deo

Showtimes
Saturday, July 1       3:00 PM

Venue
Walter Reade Theater

Lee Joo-young  2017 South Korea Korean, English with English subtitles 96 minutes

First-time director Lee Zoo-yong offers a beguiling elegy for an irretrievably lost past, told from the perspective of a man fallen from grace. Fund manager Kang Jae-hoon (Lee Byung-hun, NYAFF 2016 Star Asia Award) sees his life fall apart after the scandalous bankruptcy of his firm; he then leaves his Seoul office behind and books a one-way ticket to Sydney, where his estranged, former violinist wife, Soo-jin (Kong Hyo-jin), and son, Jin-woo (Yeong Yoo-jin), live. But there, Jae-hoon finds himself a stranger to his beloved Soo-jin, who is rekindling her love of music and starting an unlikely romance with her Australian neighbor Chris (Jack Campbell), a burly but good-natured construction worker. Day after day, he strolls down the street where Soo-jin lives, never making his presence known—until he comes across another lost soul, Gina (K-pop star Ahn So-hee).

Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Center New York

Source: Rob Hunter‏ @FakeRobHunter

Korean melodrama about regret and a very sad Lee Byung-hun. Hits just hard enough. #asinglerider

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June 27, 2017

NYAFF ’17: A Single Rider

Review by J.B.Spins

We should all know this by now, but the terms “low-risk” and “high-yield” just do not go together. We they are associated, you should be suspicious. A broker like Kang Jae-hoon should have known better, but he let greed and arrogance crowd out his better judgment. As an inevitable result, he personally paid a stiff financial price, along with his friends and extended family. Fortunately, his wife and young son have been largely untouched by the scandal while living in Australia, but the time apart will make it even more difficult for Kang to reconnect in Lee Joo-young’s A Single Rider (trailer here), which screens during the 2017 New York Asian Film Festival.

After humbling himself before his investors and getting the “bugger off” treatment from the firm’s management, Kang books a one-way ticket to Sydney. Yet, shame and instinct prevent him from immediately knocking on his wife’s suburban door. Instead, he furtively observes Soo-jin in a technically chaste but undeniably affectionate moment with her good natured, blokey neighbor Kris. Kang quickly deduces their son and his daughter are friends at school—and one thing is very close to leading to another.

Over the course of days, Kang snoops through the house and shadows both Soo-jin and Kris. During the course of his wanderings, he meets Yoo Jin-ah (or Geena to Australians), who has just lost her entire work-abroad nest-egg to a group of fellow Korean expats. Kang tries to help her as best he can, but his own recent experiences make him grimly skeptical of justice.

Although Rider is a quietly observational film with a game-changer rug-pull that everyone will say they saw coming. Yet, if put under sodium pentothal, nine out ten will probably have to admit they just explained away all the tell-tale signs rather than following them to their logical conclusion. In fact, it is better that way, because it allows for a moment of massive grace.

This is Lee Byung-hun as most of his American fans have never seen him. As Kang he gives a quiet performance of careful shadings and deep power. He never resorts to cheap, Streepian histrionics, but you can see the pain in his eyes and slumped shoulders. Likewise, Kong Hyo-jin is tough, sensitive, and soulful as the semi-estranged Soo-jin. Yet, it is former K-pop star [Ahn] So-hee who is utterly heart-breaking as the naïve Geena Yoo.

Rider is the sort of smart, high quality tearjerker that South Korean cinema has always has a comparative advantage producing for an appreciative local market. It is also the sort of film Hollywood will buy remake rights for, but absolutely butcher the Westernized version (hello Lake House). You should always see the original article. “Original” is indeed a surprisingly apt description of this deceptively restrained and meditative family drama. Highly recommended for fans of Korean cinema and K-dramas, A Single Rider screens this Saturday (7/1) at the Walter Reade, as part of this year’s New York Asian Film Festival.

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July 1, 2017

Review by Jason Seaver Letterboxd

A Single Rider 2017 ★★★★

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It's been interesting to see Lee Byung-hun stretch a bit in his Korean roles in the past year, playing the villain in MASTER and here playing a broken man who, after the securities company he worked for implodes, makes his way to Australia, where his wife and son have been living for the past two years, only to find them perhaps doing better without him. He also encounters a young Korean migrant worker, but there may be little he can do to help her.

It's an impressively traffic performance he gives, filled with regret and shame, with a palpable sense of his isolation in this foreign land as he can't bring himself to face his family. On the flip side, he's got a great rapport with the actress playing Gina, giving a hint of his paternal best self while she is a great, very likable kid in over her head.

There are moments toward the end, when something that had been kicking around my head is made explicit, that I started to cringe at having already seen this, but the film handles it will enough that it became more than the novelty, and that the film doesn't flash back to reconcile things makes the bits where that's an option all the more interesting.

It's a nice surprise of a film, even when it's not entirely a surprise.

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