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Interview with movie director Ahn Sang-hoon

   
 
   
 
One wet and gloomy night, a black sedan hit a woman on an empty street. The offender then put the victim in his trunk and fled the scene. There were two witnesses, one who was visually impaired, Su-a, and the other, Ki-sub who actually saw the spot where the accident took place. A problem occurred because the recollection of the two witnesses was not the same.

 

This is an introduction to the movie Blind, which was released on August 10th. The film was produced and directed by Ahn Sang-hoon who graduated from the Theater and Film Department in Dongguk. During his graduate studies, he produced short films, and won various prizes at the Phoenix Film Festival, and Korea Visual Arts Festival. His latest film, Blind, is his second feature film after his horror film debut, A-rang. At the box office this film has passed two million dollars only 23 days after its opening. The film cost 1.4 million to produce so it has been successful. This film was highly acclaimed for both its cinematic quality and popularity. The Post met with this successful movie director on a sunny day in a quiet coffee shop situated in Shin-sa. He gladly welcomed the reporters with smile.

 

Director Ahn, as a movie man


As mentioned above, Blind is a thriller based on a criminal hit-and-run accident. One of the two witnesses, the visually impaired Su-a is a main character in the film. Even though she lost her eye sight by a car accident three years ago, her other senses are outstanding. Also, because she was a promising student of the Korean National Police University in the past she is more interested in the hit-and-run accident. The other character Ki-sub has a different account of the event and does not trust each other. Soon both must come together as they are threatened by the criminal putting their differences aside. This is because they are the only witnesses of the accident. The movie keeps its audience on toes from this point on.


As for the inspiration of the theme, the visually impaired, he said, “At first, I tried to make a character, a blind person, who can feel the presence of ghosts. I just wanted to make a horror fantasy movie. Later on, I went to an exhibition titled, Conversation in the dark. The exhibit displayed pieces which made spectators use other senses rather than sight. After watching the exhibition, I decided to produce a film which can deliver my message that all of our senses are important.” Also, he said he was initially interested in the disabled as one of his short films, Seaside Flower, also depicts the life of a disabled girl suffering from Down’s Syndrome. To make Blind, Mr.Ahn studied a lot about the lives of blind people. He tried to realistically depict their plight. “I did not want to depict blind people like some kind of wonder woman who can move freely despite their handicap. The visually impaired can manage quite well in places they are familiar with but have more difficulties in new places. I tried to distinguish those parts clearly.”


Before the interview, The Post discovered that Blind was selected as the most popular project film in 2009 Hit By Pitch hosted by the Producers Guild of Korea. He said, “PGK awards a movie that investors are interested in. These days major companies plan, produce, invest, distribute and also screen the movie. To break the monopoly of the major companies, PGK gives awards to the movies that were created by individuals. My scenario was selected by PGK in 2009.”


Through this movie, he said he wanted to show people that the main character Su-a overcomes her trauma and becomes a wonderful and complete person despite her handicap. Asked about his future movies, he answered, “I am confident in making every genre except for the melodrama (laugh). Also for my next film, I am trying to make human a comedy.”

Director Ahn’s college life in Dongguk
Was your dream initially to be a movie director?


I actually entered the Theater and Film department because my father forced me to go that way(laugh). He was quite the opposite from other parents. When I was a freshman and a sophomore I did not have any specific dream. I just noticed that what I was learning fit well with me. Then after serving in the army I set my mind to become a movie director. This was my big opportunity.
How was your life at Dongguk?

I actually entered the Theater and Film department because my father forced me to go that way(laugh). He was quite the opposite from other parents. When I was a freshman and a sophomore I did not have any specific dream. I just noticed that what I was learning fit well with me. Then after serving in the army I set my mind to become a movie director. This was my big opportunity. How was your life at Dongguk?


I had been a guitarist in Baek-sang band for two years. After serving in the army I really studied hard. When I was a senior and junior, I earned scholarships and was at the top in both my department and my college. I was taught by great professors and many seniors gave me a lot of lessons during my days at Dongguk.
A word for juniors dreaming of becoming movie directors


I wish you practice and behave during your college years. Do not daydream while sitting in your chair but actually try to do something valuable. If you want to shoot, just shoot. Go and directly find the people you admire and ask how they have succeeded and find your own answers in your life.

Park Sung-yoon  tjddbs1104@dongguk.edu

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