And yet another wonderful Korean Short movie! Korea is seriously turning into my favourite country right now. Japan is tailing Taiwan in the slacking off department and they are slowly losing my favour. Meanwhile Korea is challenging almost all mediums, with TV shows, blockbuster movies, indies and music. You wouldn’t even think it that they are the most strict about homosexuality of all the major players!
Butt seeing how these gay projects are proving to be quite popular among the people, starting all the way back with Moon Geun-young/Chae-won‘s awesome Painter of the Wind TV show that saw for the first and last time a gay couple win best couple in TV awards in addition to best actress and new comer for both our ladies, then going into Lily Fever that took off in the internets, and all the way to the big guns in our very own Ahgassi, I have a feeling we are in for a ride when it comes to Korea!
Almost all the past four years have seen at least two yuri movies show up in these indie film festivals with this one being from the 2016 rounds. There is one from 2015 that I will be writing about too, that actually made it into one of Plain Archive’s collection of the the best of the best shorts from that year. Too bad I made it too late to reserving my copy as they sold out as soon as it came to the release date. But I learned my lesson and everyday I keep an eye out for The Handmaiden pre-orders to hit so I can grab my copy as soon as possible. I have a feeling those will sell out the very day they are announced!
Any way back to the short at hand…
What a GAY opening!! Just seconds in and I was already sold! From the visual choices in the setting, the time of the day, to the narration that makes use of that Ace of moves that hits me right in the FEELs every single time, to the body language of the characters! Jesus like, if you are one who wants their yuri with the dose of depth, this is a short you can’t miss!
From these few seconds you already know what is what! You know that these two girls share a very deep bond. You know that one of them is beginning to develop romantic feelings for the other. You are lost as to where the other stands in all of this. Does she also love her or is she completely oblivious?
You learn these things from both the visuals and the narration. Our main girl Yoon-hye (pony-tail), narrates from a story that I could not find more information about since I don’t remember a book that had both Oz and Alice in it, anyway she reads Oz’s line to Alice which goes something like…
“Alice, it can come in an instant or it can come gradually”.
My eyebrows are already rising because with experience I already know what that line might be about! Then you get Yoon-hye’s body language to back that up to sharp observers who would then connect that line to what she is doing and also get what is being implied here. She spends most time here staring at her close friend Da-joo, who does something that looks very hot despite it being something as small as pushing one’s bangs behind their ear but here it looks hot because we are seeing it through Yoon-hye’s eyes. When Da-joo turns to look at her, there is so much love in those eyes but probably because we are seeing it though Yoon-hye’s eyes. She then proceeds to just stare at Da-joo like she was the centre of her world, and really, she is!
In just a few seconds we already know Yoon-hye has it bad for Da-joo and it seems(for now) that Da-joo is clueless at what her friend is feeling. You know that Oz was referring to the feeling of love. Love can come in an instant (love at first sight) or it can come gradually (strangers who become friends who later become lovers when they realise how much they complete one another, or need each other, etc)
For a short movie of less than 20 minutes, it sure was able to go through all the stages of a romantic development! In the scenes that follow we get to see Yoon-hye’s feelings escalate and also begin to see the side—effects of that. You know, when the ones in love start seeing things that are both good also bad in that they make them start turning into questionable humans.
Here the high note for Yoon-hye is when Da-joo asks her to fix her bra for her (She is quite stacked which makes me forgive Yoon-hye for losing it there) but with the state that Yoon-hye, that being that she is lost in the void that is her new feelings for Da-joo, her hands start having a life of their own as they explore Da-joo’s back in cover of doing what Da-joo had asked of her.
The feelings she clearly shows of both wonder, confusion and ecstasy after she is done speaks volumes. She got it bad. At this moment if anyone did not know that she had feelings for Da-joo, they surely would have guessed it by now. Her heart was surely racing after simply touching Da-joo’s back, which we get from her looking at her hands, then placing her hand over her heart and then looking off from side to side as if she is confused at what she was feeling.
But those lovely feelings do not last because just moments after as they head on home, something happens that seduces Yoon-hye to the dark side of the yuri force! As they walk home, with Yoon-hye’s hand around Da-joo’s, there are two girls walking ahead of them. They are walking hand in hand and really, at their age that is not something rare. Girls walk holding hands all the time. it does not mean that they are romantically involved.
So Da-joo bringing them up and inclining that they were dating because of the way they were holding hands, made me raise my first eye brow at her stance in all of this. Yoon-hye’s says that she doesn’t see a problem with that and wonders of it bothers Da-joo (hey, better know before you start planning your future with her, eh?). Da-joo says it doesn’t bother her but then throws in that they should probably stay away from them!
This of course rubs Yoon-hye, and myself in the wrong way and Yoon-hye is smart enough to release her hand from around Da-joo. Where they had been walking attached to the arm, now they walk apart. When Da-joo runs ahead of her, you can clearly see the dark force stirring within Yoon-hye’s body. But it was too soon for them to have a falling out. Not that Yoon-hye would have let something as small to destroy her feelings when she has read that book of Oz and Alice, speaking of which…
Oz: “it rolls, walks jumps and flies.”
Alice: “Even if it rolls, walks, jumps and flies, I wish it would graze by me.”
Obviously talking about the different feelings evoked from being in love. it is all not just happiness and roses but despite the not so good feelings that might come from being in love, Alice (Yoon-hye in this case) still wishes for it, for love!
Speaking of the not so great sides of being in love, Yoon-hye gets her chance to taste those negative feelings in the moments that follow. While she battles with her growing infatuation with Da-joo, something that should not happen right at this moment in their lives, happens. A friend of Da-joo’s wants to introduce a guy to her. She nearly walks into a tree on their way home because she was too busy checking out photos of this guy (gets saved by Yoon-hye of course). Yoon-hye still not having gotten there yet, plays the good friend card and tells Da-joo that she should meet the guy if he is cute. Da-joo says he is not and the pull to the dark side is lessened as we get the two being cutesy and happy together…at least for a while.
We get more of Yoon-hye just staring at Da-joo like she was her precious, we get to see them do some foot-kissing, we get to see them makes eyes at each other, and also I got another eyebrow riser from Da-joo during the hallway punishment after they were late, where Da-joo gives Yoon-hye this look. I swear I started to think that she might know something, that she knows Yoon-hye loves her and she does these little things to her knowingly. She looks at Yoon-hye sometimes like she knows what’s up and is secretly smiling inside.
I mean, there is this one romantic moment when they were out in the park, which actually happened right after Yoon-hye had a very interesting call. It seems that she was straight because this new development because the call was about someone introducing her to a guy as well (I think the call was from her brother). it was clear that she was refusing because Da-joo had also refused to meet that guy. She calls Da-joo right after the call as if to cleanse herself of that momentally betrayal.
As the to spend sometime under the full moon, there is this moment where Yoon-hye makes her way in front of Da-joo and begin to touch her knee and the moment was the heavy that I was left wondering why Da-joo did not react to it. I was expecting her to ask Yoon-hye what she was doing, given the way Yoon-hye was so deliberately doing it with emotion.
But then later in school, as they chill behind the class curtains during break, sharing a drink and Yoon-hye just drinking in Da-joo as has become a routine (curtain lesbians!), Da-joo is busy sexting someone and when Yoon-hye asks who she is talking to, she says it is the guy! Yoon-hye is like, ‘’the guy? She has already forgotten about him even. When it finally clicks though, the power of the dark side is finally felt when the betrayal hits her like a brick and she storms out leaving an interestingly shocked Da-joo behind.
They do not speak for the rest of the day and judging from what Da-joo said during her apology, they were only apart for one day and no more when she said that she ate alone and walked home alone that day! Seriously, they couldn’t even stand to be apart for one day! Even right after their fight we saw Yoon-hye still stealing glances towards a sad Da-joo.
But so far we have been seeing this from Yoon-hye’s perspective and we have been following her feelings, here then comes time to focus on Da-joo side of the story. Now she wasn’t easy at all. Even during their fight she was dropping lines like ‘You are the only one for me’ like she obviously knew of Yoon-hye’s feelings but what did she mean? Does she too like Yoon-hye?
And seeing of how fast she apologised and tried to get back together with Yoon-hye, where others would take longer, she obviously felt the impact of Yoon-hye’s absence! She couldn’t stand eating alone for even one meal or walking home alone for just that once! When she went to apologise she brought Yoon-hye’s her favourite drink. She knows so much of Yooon-hye’s despite seemingly being air-headed as presented so far.
Where Yoon-hye only touched her knee and with hesitation when they were in that same place (their secret place I believe) before, here when Da-joo comes to apologise she rests her head on Yoon-hye’s thighs, in the most romantic way possible (with the moos still high up in the sky I might add). So she up’d one on Yoon-hye which really begs the question, does she too have feelings for Yoon-hye but where Yoon-hye spends time getting confused and flipping out Da-joo takes it as if it’s normal and they are dating already?!
And that wasn’t even the icing on the cake. Later when they are back together, sharing ear-buds like the old times, Da-joo is trying to sleep as Yoon-hye studies but the sun is too strong and seems to be irritating a sleeping Da-joo. Yoon-hye tries to block out the strong rays by placing her hand up in front of Da-joo’s face to protect her prompting her to switch hands and write with her left (she is right handed!). Like, how romantic is that?!
turns out though that Da-joo was aware all this time and instead she reaches up and grabs Yoon-hye’s raised hand and places it between her and then rests her head on their joined hands, looking up at Yoon-hye like…I don’t even know! She once again displayed more intimacy than Yoon-hyee, who is supposed to be the one in love! The narration that follows best describes where Yoon-hye is at this moment in regards to her feelings for Da-joo as she stares at the scene before her with un-believing eyes…
“I can’t think of anything right now”, said Alice.
”That’s okay Alice. later, much later, think about it”, replied Oz. “What you think it’s called. What you would want to call it.”
Like, is this even still up for debate what they are implying here? There is no need for labels! Feel what you feel, let is consume you for now, bask in it, worry about what you might thin it is much later on your own terms not everyone else’s. Is it right, is it wrong, that is up to you to decide after you have experienced it.
Love is love!
And then came the deal-breaker, rightly so because it is the end of the movie! Once again it is Da-joo that has our jimmies rustled with her confusing actions, or are they?! it is their summer break and the first thing we get is exactly this – Da-joo obvious flirting! She starts the playfulness by poking Yoon-hye’s sides and getting her to chase her only she had a plan!
Yes, I am willing to bet my life on it that she planned that! When Yoon-hye chases after her Da-joo suddenly stops, prompting Yoon-hye’s to crush into her accidentally, yes, her accidentally open arms that accidentally left them in a form of an accidental hug! Poor Yoon-hye was shocked still because, you know, Da-joo’s awesome bewbs! I am not even going to sit here and pretend she hadn’t thought of those at all during all this time they have been together, more so since that scene where she was fixing Da-joo’s bra! But this was no fantasizing from the back, this was front on having that taste of heaven.
Meanwhile Da-joo’s actions too give her away! She is obviously studying Yoon-hye’s reaction and from the looks of it, she was very satisfied wit the result of her little experiment! She so did that on purpose! It was as if she was giving Yoon-hye hints of where they stood! Like she is saying Yoon-hye did not have to fantasize, that Da-joo belonged to her and she could do whatever she wanted. This might be where Yoon-hye got the courange for what happened next and closed over the deal too.
But before that, I have to touch upon poor Yoon-hye’s reaction after that little evil experiment of Da-joo’s. The poor girl looked ready to pass out! And this scene mirroring the other scene that happened at about the same tome at the end end of the spectrum compared to this being a coincidence is not a thought I am going to entertain!
Then finally came the seam to Yoon-hye’s feelings when she asks Da-joo out, and if you think deeper, asking for much more than just a meal date! Da-joo tries to explain her weird acts by saying that she was only playing around because they won’t see each other until after the short break of two weeks. Yoon-hye is saddened thinking that Da-joo was going off somewhere but she wasn’t.
Yoon-hye proposes that she thought they would spend the whole time going to the library everyday, excusing herself with so Da-joo couldn’t waste away sleeping during the time off. Da-joo agrees but the way the camera focuses on her you know she totally did not buy that excuse of Yoon-hye. Then she once again beats Yoon-hye at her game when it is suggested that they rest the next day and then starting from the day after but Da-joo says they should start right away the next day.
Seriously, I by now believe that while this movie we saw the stages of Yoon-hye’s love growth, Da-joo already had these feelings and she was just waiting for Yoon-hye to catch up because her mind games are out of this world!
And so when clueless Yoon-hye goes for broke by asking Da-joo out suggesting that they go get some ramen, she agrees without pause but with a kind of mirth in her voice and the two walk off into the future and next stages of their relationship.
The movie closes with another of Oz and Alice’s conversations hinting at the future of our girls’ relationship.
Alice asked, “Will I understand when I am an adult?”
”it’s not a matter of being a child or an adult Alice, ” said Oz.
“You season is already changing”
Deep, too deep. And I love my yuri deep! Seriously, what a lovely short movie! Dearest lovely Readers that recommended this to me, I am sorry it took me so long to watch this! I actually already had it on my PC but forgot to watch it until recently when I was going through my collection trying to free up space! Yes, if you thought there are no people who have Terabytes and terabytes of data, you just met one!
What a lovely short movie! Only 19 minutes but it is so complete! I am sure it is thanks to the use of that Alice and Oz story to support the plot! it sure felt like I was watching a full length movie despite the actual runtime! I think these shorts are turning into my favourite medium.
If anyone hasn’t seen it, check below. best quality you can find in a vid and also with English subtitles.