Fantastic Parasuicides / Fantastic Ja Sal So Dong (2007) Film Review

Collections like Fantastic Parasuicides, which combine three shorts by different directors under one title, always manage to peak my interest. In this case, all of the three shorts explore the idea of “suicide,” and due to my preference for black comedies, I thought this collection would be right up my alley. What I discovered was that only one of the pieces really held my attention; the other two were interesting, but hardly memorable or really even worth watching.

The first piece, by Park SoYeong, explores a girl’s suicide after failing an exam. It’s wacky, off-the-wall, and complete with poorly shot action sequences and sound effects along the lines of what you’d find in Pac Man. All definitely on purpose, and all intolerable if you do not find juvenile, nonsensical humor funny. In my case, I found it slightly amusing, but it definitely kind of turned me off to watching the other two, even though the other two are nothing like this one.The second piece, by Jo ChangHo, is almost dialogue-free and explores one soldier’s hesitations about committing suicide. He rents a hotel room in which to do the deed, but things take a turn for the unexpected. I’m not quite sure what the point to this story is, asides from the fact that there is obviously some kind of parallel between the life of a chicken and the life of the soldier. Definitely slow-moving, and, in retrospect, my least favorite of the three.

The third piece, by Kim SeongHo, is the least amateur offering by a long shot. A 70-year-old man has suicidal plans for his birthday when he realizes that no one has remembered his birthday; from there, he stumbles upon a suicidal youngster and saves him. The film ends with not one, but TWO unexpected twists. Beautifully shot and effective in telling a story that the viewer will care about for longer than the duration of the story itself — something that the other two shorts failed to do miserably.


Directors:
Chang-ho Jo, Seong-ho Kim, Soo-yeong Park

Producer:

Stanley Kwak

Screenwriter:

Seong-ho Kim, Soo-yeong Park, Chang-ho Jo

Cinematographer:

Hee-seok Na, Young-min Kim

Music:

Jae-hwan Jeong, Hyeon-suk Choi, Myeong-jong Kim

Principal Cast:

Yeo-reum Han, Tablo, Ga-yeon Kim, Hwi-soon Park, Jae-jin Jeong

Language:
Korean

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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