Saturday, March 15, 2014

Masquerade (광해: 왕이 된 남자), Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물) at Pitt's 2014 Korean Film Festival, starting March 19.

The historical drama Masquerade (광해: 왕이 된 남자) and the comedic drama Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물) comprise this year's Korean Film Festival held at the University of Pittsburgh, now in its 11th year. Masquerade will play on March 19, and Miracle in Cell No. 7 on March 26.

The Korean Film Database summarizes 2012's Masquerade:
During the confusing and conspiratorial Joseon Dynasty, King Gwang-hae orders his councilor, HEO Kyun, to find him a double in order to avoid the constant threat of assassination. HEO Kyun finds Ha-sun, a jester who looks remarkably like the king, and just as feared, Gwang-hae is poisoned. HEO Kyun proposes that Ha-sun fill the role as the king until Gwang-hae recovers fully and grooms Ha-sun to look and act every bit like him. While assuming the role of the king at his first official appearance, Ha-sun begins to ponder the intricacies of the problems debated in his court. Being fundamentally more humanitarian than Gwang-hae, Ha-sun’s affection and appreciation of even the most minor servants slowly changes morale in the castle for the better. Over time he finds his voice and takes control of governing the country with real insight and fair judgments. Even HEO Kyun is moved by Ha-sun’s genuine concern for the people, and realizes he is an better ruler than Gwang-hae. However, his chief opposition, PARK, notices the sudden shift in the king’s behavior and starts to ask questions.
Wikipedia provides a brief synopsis of 2013's Miracle in Cell No. 7:
Lee Yong-gu is a mentally challenged man with the intelligence of a 6-year-old, which is actually the age of his own daughter Ye-sung who is much smarter than her peers. The two of them lead a happy life while Yong-gu makes a living by working as a parking attendant at a local supermarket. But one day, when the police commissioner's young daughter dies in a strange accident, Yong-gu is the one who happens to find her. He is falsely accused and sentenced to death for abduction, sexual assault, and murder of a minor. Ye-sung is sent to a childcare institution and Yong-gu gets imprisoned and assigned to Cell No. 7, the harshest cell in a maximum security prison.
Also according to Wikipedia, Miracle in Cell No. 7 is the third-highest grossing film in Korean history, one spot ahead of Masquerade.

The movies will be shown at 4:00 pm in 4430 Posvar Hall (map), and both are free and open to the public. The festival is presented by the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures, the Asian Studies Center, and the East Asian Library.