Review: ‘Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid’

#Also Kim Chung-Hyun, Youn Soo-Jin.

#Also Kim Chung-Hyun, Youn Soo-Jin.

This familiar but nonetheless charmingly handled and often poignant yarn is about the adventures of a group of schoolboy film buffs and how cinema evolves into something more important than life itself.

Story starts in the regimented and censored Korea of the 1950s and ’60s as a group of boys from a film club sneak into films banned for minors. First half of pic has some touching vignettes, as the boys defy school authorities and even stowaway on a freight train to undertake the first leg of an intended trip to their mecca: Hollywood. The ringleader is henceforth known as the “Hollywood Kid.”

But when the filmic aficionados mature, pic takes a different dramatic tack. One of the boys becomes a successful producer, but the Hollywood Kid loses his bearings, managing to pen one script.

The final melodramatics detract from the early part of the film, as pic’s sincerity evolves into contrived situations. Pic could garner some interest on the fest circuit and perhaps even draw a small audience in select arthouses.


Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid



An Ahn's World Prod. film. Produced by Ahn Dongkyu. Directed, written by Chung Jiyoung, based on a novel by Ahn Junghyo. Camera, Shin Ok-Hyun; editor, Park Sun-Duck; music, Shin Bung-Ha; set design, Cho Youn-Sam; sound, Kim Won-Young. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (competing), Sept. 21, 1994. Running time:114 MIN.


The Hollywood Kid ... Choe Minsu Yun Myonggil ... Yoko Yongjae Hyonsuk ... Shin Hyesu
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