Burning (Hangul: 버닝; RR: Beoning) is a 2018 South Korean psychological drama mystery film directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film stars Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, and Jeon Jong-seo. The film is based on the short story "Barn Burning" by Haruki Murakami.
It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It was also selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, and made it onto the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film shortlist, becoming the first Korean film to do so.
South Korean theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lee Chang-dong|
|Produced by||Lee Joon-dong|
|Screenplay by||Oh Jung-mi|
|Based on||Barn Burning |
by Haruki Murakami
|Edited by||Kim Hyeon|
|Distributed by||CGV Arthouse|
|Box office||US$6.7 million|
Lee Jong-su performs odd jobs in Paju. One day he runs into Shin Hae-mi, a childhood neighbor and classmate whom he does not remember at first. She tells him she had plastic surgery and is now attractive. Later, she tells him about her upcoming trip to Africa, and asks him to feed her cat while she is away. Before Hae-mi's departure, Jong-su's father, a bovine farmer, got tangled in disagreeable legal affairs, and Jong-su had to return to the farm. Jong-su passes by Hae-mi's apartment, where he receives instructions about feeding the cat. Later, they have sex in Hae-mi's apartment.
After Hae-mi departs, Jong-su dutifully feeds her cat - although he never sees it. He also begins habitually masturbating in her apartment. One day Hae-mi calls, saying she had become stranded at Nairobi Airport for three days after a terror warning. When Jong-su comes to pick her up, she arrives with Ben, whom she met and bonded with during the crisis. The three go out for dinner, where Hae-mi recalls a sunset she witnessed during her travels. Moved by the memory, she cries and confesses that she wanted to disappear. Ben is well-off and confident, though it is never entirely clear what he does for a living. Jong-su, an aspiring writer struggling to get by and taking care of his family farm while his father is in prison, envies Ben and his relationship with Hae-mi from afar.
Hanging out at Jong-su's farm, Hae-mi recalls a childhood memory wherein Jong-su rescued her after she fell into a well near her home, which Jong-su does not remember. The trio smoke cannabis and Hae-mi dances topless. After Hae-mi has fallen asleep on the sofa, Ben confesses a strange hobby: Every two months, he burns an abandoned greenhouse. He notes that Jong-su's rural neighborhood is full of greenhouses. When asked when his next burning will take place, Ben claims it will be very soon and close to Jong-su's house. Jong-su tells Ben that he loves Hae-mi. Hae-mi quietly gets into Ben's car and as they leave Jong-su tells Ben he will keep an eye on the greenhouses in his area.
Over the following days, Jong-su keeps watch around the neighborhood to see if any greenhouses burn down, but none do. One afternoon, in front of an intact greenhouse that he happens to be inspecting he receives a call from Hae-mi, which cuts off after a few seconds of ambiguous noises. Jong-su becomes worried as she does not answer any of his calls afterwards, and begins to investigate after her phone number becomes disconnected. Eventually he convinces the landlady to let him into Hae-mi's apartment so that he can feed her cat. Hae-mi's apartment is unnaturally clean and all signs of the cat are gone. Jong-su begins stalking Ben, staking out his apartment and following him to see where he goes. When he sees Ben's Porsche parked outside a restaurant he goes inside to confront him. A young woman suddenly approaches the table, apologizing to Ben for being late. As the three of them leave the restaurant, Jong-su asks Ben if he has heard from Hae-mi and whether she had gone on a trip. Ben says he has not heard from her, and he doubts she had gone on a trip.
One day, Ben finds Jong-su outside his place and invites him up to his apartment, where he finds that he has a new cat which he claims is a rescued stray. Jong-su's suspicions are raised further when on a visit to the toilet he finds a watch, similar to the one he had given Hae-mi, hidden in a drawer. Shortly afterwards, Ben's cat runs out of the apartment and Jong-su finds that it answers to the same name as Hae-mi's cat, Boil. Jong-su asks to meet Ben in the countryside, claiming he is with Hae-mi. After Ben sees that Hae-mi is not there, Jong-su stabs Ben several times, killing him. Jong-su douses Ben's car and body in gasoline and sets it all aflame, tossing his blood-soaked clothes in as well. He stumbles naked to his truck and drives off.
Developed as the work of the international project which was based on the novels of Haruki Murakami. Production was set to begin in November 2016 but was delayed by a dispute between Murakami and NHK, which owns the rights to many of Murakami's works.
Burning is based on the short story Barn Burning written by Haruki Murakami. In October 2016, however, Lee said, "it is a story about young people in today’s world. When they think of their lives and the world, it must feel like a mystery", at the Busan International Film Festival. In September 2017, the studio said that it has only brought the original motif.
On September 5, 2017, it was announced that Yoo Ah-in has been confirmed for the role of Jong-su, a pure and sensitive young man who tries to solve a mystery surrounding the love of his life. Three days later, newcomer Jeon Jong-seo is cast for the role of Hae-mi who is the hometown friend of Jong-su and the girl he loves. Jun was plucked from auditions which began in August. On September 20, Steven Yeun joined the film, where he will play the role of Ben.
The first film directed by Lee Chang-dong in eight years, Burning was widely tipped by film critics and insiders to be an in competition entry at the upcoming 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Lee's 2007 film Secret Sunshine and 2010 film Poetry both premiered as in competition entries at the Cannes Film Festival. In April 2018, Burning was among the lineup of in competition entries announced for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
The film was sold to more than 100 countries and territories at the Marché du Film in Cannes Film Festival. This include Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Poland and Turkey.
In South Korea, Burning premiered in theaters on May 17, 2018.
As of 22 January 2019, Burning has grossed $672,278 in the United States and Canada, and $6 million in other territories (including $4.2 million in Japan), for a total worldwide gross of $6.7 million.
On its opening day in South Korea, Burning attracted 52,324 viewers in total, ranking second at the box office behind Deadpool 2 (248,904 viewers). Over the first weekend of its release, Burning received 220,717 admissions, placing third at the local box office. By the end of its run, the film recorded 528,168 admissions in its home country.
In the United States, the film was released on 26 October 2018. In its opening weekend it made $26,130 from two theaters. The film had its widest release in its third weekend, playing in 27 theaters and grossing $76,608.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 95% from 131 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Burning patiently lures audiences into a slow-burning character study that ultimately rewards the viewer's patience -- and subverts many of their expectations." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 90 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Los Angeles Times's Justin Chang called it "a masterpiece of psychological unease— the most lucid and absorbing new movie I've seen this year, as well as the most layered and enigmatic." The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it "a gripping nightmare" and lavished praise on how "Lee creates a sense of mood and place with masterly flair." Sight & Sound rated it the third best film of 2018, and Jessica Kiang wrote in her Cannes review, "The embers are banked up so gradually that it’s not until a few hours after the ending of this elusive, riveting masterpiece that you are far enough away to appreciate the scale of the conflagration." Tim Robey in The Daily Telegraph observed, "This is Lee’s closest ever film to a thriller, but it defies expectations, offering multiple, murky solutions to a set of mysteries at once." Vulture's Emily Yoshida praised the film for its "perception of the rich vampirizing youth — not directly biologically or physically or financially, but emotionally" but considered that "Burning lost its steam in its second half". Peter Debruge of Variety suggested that "[t]he degree to which Burning succeeds will depend largely on one's capacity to identify with the unspoken but strongly conveyed sense of jealousy and frustration its lower-class protagonist feels". Rolling Stone's Peter Travers wrote that the film "sizzles with a cumulative power that will knock the wind out of you" and declared that "Lee has crafted a hypnotic and haunting film that transcends genre to dig deep into the human condition. You won’t be able to get it out of your head."
Geoff Andrew of Time Out was similarly positive, hailing it as a "movie rich in teasing ambiguities and possible lies... Lee's interest lies not in crime-solving but in exploring Jongsu's emotional confusion... Both a slow-burn suspense drama and an intriguing enigma, his film is beautifully executed". Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter reacted enthusiastically to the film, writing that "[t]his is a beautifully crafted film loaded with glancing insights and observations into an understated triangular relationship, one rife with subtle perceptions about class privilege, reverberating family legacies, creative confidence, self-invention, sexual jealousy, justice and revenge".
Nick Pinkerton, writing in ArtForum, was more muted, writing that "Burning is strewn with all sorts of information whose exact meaning and validity is impossible to determine... a film with such a diffident, often passive protagonist must generate its tensions and attractions elsewhere—memorable supporting players, a tactile atmosphere, a complex sense of the social sphere, an emphatic emotionalism".
The depiction of the female character Hae-mi in the film attracted some criticism. Tom Augustine of The New Zealand Herald wrote "The film's sweltering tension and commitment to its lack of easy answers is commendable, but less so is its treatment of women. The character of Hae-mi while well-performed is let down by writing that paints her as the worst kind of male-driven sexual fantasy. She only really exists to develop the male characters' arcs and to allow the camera to artfully leer over her." However, Adam Nayman from Film Society of Lincoln Center argued and emphasized for The Ringer that the story is "told fully from Jongsu's point of view," so "it's fair to ask whether Lee Chang Dong is cultivating true audience solidarity or urging us to understand the story exclusively through the lens of his hero's prejudices: to see Haemi and Ben as idealized and demonized figures, respectively." Phoebe Chen of the Film Feminist Journal: Another Gaze, analyzed that Haemi's existence had a grander purpose in the film, and wrote, "If you know Burning is adapted from a Haruki Murakami short story, however loosely, you know that Haemi will vanish. The trope of the missing woman is built into Murakami's narrative DNA: her vanishing will preoccupy the protagonist, neurotically at first, then fade over the months and years to a dull malaise", and "The mystery of Haemi’s disappearance is technically 'solved', but becomes supplanted by one grander: the mystery of a world that tantalises with the hope of futurity while locking its millions of subjects in a cold impasse." Alexandra Heller-Nicholas of Alliance of Women Film Journalists emphasized that the character of Hae-mi is much more than simply a missing woman as plot device but one of the most powerful parts of a film that casually yet firmly addresses the pressures on women, "While the film’s well-executed action and unflinching, profound exploration of its deeper thematic questions circle Jong-su and Ben with increasing intensity, it is this question of Hae-mi that drives the story. This is much, much more than simply a missing woman as plot device: one of the most powerful parts of a film that can comfortably boast a range of achievements is how casually yet firmly the film addresses the pressures on women – not just Hae-mi and her colleagues, but Jong-su's own mother – to live up to financially unsustainable images of femininity in contemporary South Korea."
Burning won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It went on to be nominated for three Asia Pacific Screen Awards, winning the Jury Grand Prize. It is nominated for eight Asian Film Awards, including Best Film.
Ball culture, the house system, the ballroom community and similar terms describe an underground LGBT subculture in the United States in which people "walk" (i.e., compete) for trophies and prizes at events known as balls. Some who walk also dance; others compete in drag categories, designed to emulate other genders and social classes. Most participants in ball culture belong to groups known as "houses".Black gay pride
The Black Gay Pride movement is a movement within the United States for African American members of the LGBT community. Started in the 1990s, Black Gay Pride movements began as a way to provide black LGBT people an alternative to the largely white mainstream LGBT movement. The movement serves as a way for black LGBT people to discuss the specific issues that are unique to the black LGBT community. While the mainstream gay pride movement, often perceived as overwhelmingly white, has focused much of its energy on marriage equality, the Black Gay Pride movement has focused on issues like medicine, homophobia in their communities and housing.Today, there 25 Black Gay Pride events all over the United States. The largest of these events have historically been D.C. Black Pride, At the Beach Los Angeles and Atlanta Black Pride. While black pride events started as early as 1988, D.C. Black Pride, which began in 1991, has been cited as one of the earliest celebrations. The D.C. Black Pride celebration started out of a tradition called the Children's Hour 15 years prior.Blood Theatre
Blood Theatre (also known as Movie House Massacre) is a 1984 American independent slasher-horror comedy film. It was the first feature film by director Rick Sloane.
The film includes many bizarre movie theater related deaths, such as being fried inside a popcorn machine, stabbed in the ticket booth, electrocuted by a film projector, decapitated by a projection booth partition, stabbed while a movie is playing on screen, smoke inhalation from burning film and a telephone receiver which breaks apart while a dying girl screams hysterically into it.
The majority of the movie was shot at the historic Beverly Warner Theater in Beverly Hills, which was also a location in the film Xanadu. It was later demolished and the site became a bank building.All the movies which play at the Spotlite Theater Multiplex in this film, were short films made by Rick Sloane while he attended Los Angeles City College. They include Clown Whores of Hollywood, Chainsaw Chicks, Amputee Hookers and Nightmare Of The Lost Whores.Imatra (cinema)
Imatra was a cinema in Tampere, Finland, located in Hämeenkatu 12.
In October 23, 1927, the cinema was destroyed in a fire. The cinema was showing Wages of Virtue (1924, featuring Gloria Swanson), and about 200 people were in the audience, about 80 of whom were in the balcony. The fire was caused by ignition of nitrate film in the projection room just before the pause between reels 3 and 4. The 18-year-old projectionist tried to extinguish the burning film, but the hot gases exploded, throwing him out of the room and leaving the door open. The fire spread to the rest of the building within minutes and a large part of the audience was trapped inside. Some people jumped off the balcony and were injured. When the fire brigade arrived, the whole building was already on fire.
20 people died in the fire and 28 were injured; one of the injured died in the hospital. Over 20,000 people were present at the funeral of the victims, and a memorial was unveiled in 1928 in Kalevankangas Cemetery in Tampere.Is Paris Burning?
Is Paris Burning? can refer to :
Is Paris Burning? (book), a 1965 history of the Liberation of Paris by Collins and Lapierre
Is Paris Burning? (film), a 1966 French dramatization of the book directed by René ClémentIs Paris Burning? (film)
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A "kiki" (alternately kiking or a ki) is a term which grew out of Black and Latino gay social culture, and is loosely defined as a gathering of friends for the purpose of gossiping and chit-chat, and later made more widely known in the song "Let's Have a Kiki" by the Scissor Sisters.LGBTQ representations in hip hop music
LGBTQ representations in hip hop music have been historically low. Hip hop has long been portrayed as one of the least LGBT-friendly genres of music (along with heavy metal and country music) with a significant body of hip hop music containing homophobic views and anti-gay lyrics. However, since the early 2000s there has been a flourishing community of LGBTQ hip hop artists, activists and performers breaking barriers in the mainstream music industry.Labels such as homo hop or queer hip hop group all artists identifying as members of the LGBTQ community into a subgenre of hip hop based solely on their sexuality. These subgenre labels are not marked by any specific production style, as artists within it may simultaneously be associated with virtually any other subgenre of hip hop, or may also make music that falls outside the subgenre entirely. Rather, the terms are defined by a direct engagement with LGBT culture in elements such as the lyrical themes or the artist's visual identity and presentation.Artists who have been labelled as part of the genre have, however, varied in their acceptance of the terminology. Some have supported the identification of a distinct phenomenon of "LGBT hip hop" as an important tool for promoting LGBT visibility in popular music, while others have criticized it for essentially ghettoizing their music as a "niche" interest that circumscribed their appeal to mainstream music fans.
Many artists have contributed to the increased visibility and social acceptance of the LGBTQ community's presence in hip hop music, most notably Frank Ocean, who penned an open letter addressing his sexuality in 2012. Artists such as Mykki Blanco, Big Freedia, Charlie Xile, Le1f and cakes da killa are also at the forefront of creating a more inclusive representation of bodies in the hip hop genre. There has also been an increased presence of LGBTQ allies in the mainstream hip hop community, such as Murs, Macklemore, and Ryan Lewis.Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992) was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Johnson co-founded the gay and transvestite advocacy organization S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. A popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, Johnson modeled for Andy Warhol, and performed onstage with the drag performance troupe, Hot Peaches. Known for decades as a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village, Johnson was known as the "mayor of Christopher Street". From 1987 through 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP.Nitrocellulose
Nitrocellulose (also known as cellulose nitrate, flash paper, flash cotton, guncotton, and flash string) is a highly flammable compound formed by nitrating cellulose through exposure to nitric acid or another powerful nitrating agent. When used as a propellant or low-order explosive, it was originally known as guncotton.
Partially nitrated cellulose has found uses as a plastic film and in inks and wood coatings. In 1862, the first man-made plastic, nitrocellulose (branded Parkesine), was created by Alexander Parkes from cellulose treated with nitric acid and a solvent. In 1868, American inventor John Wesley Hyatt developed a plastic material he named Celluloid, improving on Parkes' invention by plasticizing the nitrocellulose with camphor so it could be processed into finished form and used as a photographic film. Celluloid was used by Kodak, and other suppliers, from the late 1880s as a film base in photography, X-ray films, and motion-picture films, and was known as nitrate film. After numerous fires caused by unstable nitrate films, "safety film" (cellulose acetate film) started to be used from the 1930s in the case of X-ray stock and from 1948 for motion-picture film.Paris Is Burning
Paris Is Burning may refer to:
Paris Is Burning (film), a 1990 documentary film
"Paris Is Burning" (Gilmore Girls), the eleventh episode of Gilmore Girls' first season
"Paris Is Burning", a song from the 1983 album Breaking the Chains by Dokken
Paris Is Burning (EP), an extended play by musician Annie Clark
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Paris Is Burning is a 1990 American documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Some critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Slow Burn (1986 film)
Slow Burn is a 1986 American television drama film noir presented by Joel Schumacher and directed by Matthew Chapman. Chapman also adapted screenplay from the novel of Arthur Lyons named Castles Burning. Film stars include Eric Roberts, Beverly D'Angelo, Dennis Lipscomb, Raymond J. Barry, Johnny Depp, Anne Schedeen, Henry Gibson and Dan Hedaya.The Burning
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"The Burning", a Civil War military action conducted by Philip SheridanThe Burning (film)
The Burning is a 1981 American slasher film directed by Tony Maylam and written by Peter Lawrence and Bob Weinstein. It stars Brian Matthews, Brian Backer, Leah Ayres, and Lou David. The plot tells about a summer camp caretaker named Cropsy who is horribly burnt from a prank gone wrong. Years later, he is released from the hospital with severe disfigurements, and seeks revenge on those responsible at a nearby summer camp. The story is loosely based on the upstate New York urban legend of Cropsey, a tale that became popular at summer camps in the 1960s and 1970s.
Made at the height of the low-budget slasher-film craze fueled by the success of Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980) in the early 1980s, the film became notable for being the first feature film from Miramax Films and was produced by Harvey Weinstein, who co-wrote the story with Brad Grey and Maylam. It also marks the film debut of Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter. Tom Savini, who worked on the effects for Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Friday the 13th, served as the film's make-up artist. The Burning was theatrically released on May 8, 1981 by Filmways in the United States. While the film didn't generate the interest and revenue achieved by other slasher films at the time, it has since became a cult classic and received a positive reappraisal from critics.The House Is Burning
The House Is Burning is a 2006 German drama film directed by Holger Ernst and starring John Diehl. It was screened out of competition at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels
The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels is a group of occultists and performers including writer and magician Alan Moore, Bauhaus member David J, and musician Tim Perkins, who perform occult "workings" consisting of prose poetry set to music. Several of these "workings" have been released onto CD. It was also the name of the group's first performance piece which was released as a spoken word CD in 1996.