This year’s Spectrum K is titled “About 20,” alluding to the tender age of twenty. One of the most prominent trends of recent Korean films is the focus on the young, “insecure” generation.
Titled “About Twenty”, Spectrum K draws attention to today’s youths and the issues that resonate with them. One of the most prominent trends in K-cinema lately is the focus on who may be the most “insecure” generation in Korea’s modern history, and the three films featured in this section are no exceptions. They chart the uneasy ‘comings-of-age’ of those who are just growing out of adolescence into adulthood, struggling to settle into the real world. The big world greets them with challenges, hurdles and plenty other reasons to despair, with no one offering guidance by their side. NOT OUT by Lee Jung-gon revolves around Gwangho, who used to be a promising high school baseball player but is disheartened by not being selected in the professional league draft. He has to earn money to continue playing, and that desperation drives him to a corner. Snowball by director Lee Woo-jung is a screen adaption of Lim Solah’s novel, in which three runaway high school girls grapple with harsh reality. The growing insecurities and inner turmoil of the youngsters are poignantly represented. Park Ri-woong’s The Girl on a Bulldozer follows one girl’s fight against the world. A ‘natural born fighter’ with dragon tattoo on her arm, the young protagonist stands up against injustice and pushes forward like a bulldozer. Actors Jeong Jaekwang (NOT OUT), Bang Min-a, Shim Dal-gi, Han Sung-min (Snowball), and Kim Hyeyoon (The Girl on a Bulldozer) deliver convincing, gripping performances in their respective movies.