Review: ‘Behind the Camera’

Not enough happens in front of the camera to make "Behind the Camera" equal in charm or irony to E J-yong's well-received 2009 mockumentary "The Actresses."

Not enough happens in front of the camera to make “Behind the Camera” equal in charm or irony to E J-yong’s well-received 2009 mockumentary “The Actresses.” Touting the gimmick of E directing a 10-minute short via Skype and smartphone with a faux crew consisting of the leading lights of local showbiz, this scattershot film about filmmaking gets bogged down with technicalities that will mystify laymen, while the pseudo-improvisatory format is thin on drama. Aside from fests and limited local release, the pic’s opportunities are soft-focused at best.

“What kind of crazy bitch smiles when watching a film shoot?” barks “Taste of Money” thesp Youn Yuh-jung. She gets to the point, since the only thing anyone seems to do on the set of “Behind” set is agitate about what they’re supposed to do. Industry big names like helmer Ryoo Seung-wan (“The Unjust”) or thesp Kim Ok-vin (“Thirst”) come and go like extras. The mystery of E’s whereabouts, the control games he plays and his crew’s retaliation are mildly amusing, but need elaboration to develop into anything thematic or engaging. Youn’s juicy gossip and queen-bee personality become the production’s life and soul.

Behind the Camera

South Korea

Production

A Filament Pictures presentation of a Moonkle Pictures, Withus Film production. (International sales: CJ Entertainment, Seoul.) Produced by E J-yong, Choi Jae-won, Choi Jung-ho. Executive producer, Jeong Tae-sung. Co-producer, Kim Mi-hwa. Directed by E J-yong.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, HD), Yoo Oek; editors, Ham Sung-won, Kim Hyung-ju; music, Mowg; sound (Stereo), Lee Seung-chul, Lee Sung-jin; visual effects supervisor, 4th Creative Party; Visual Effects, CJ Powercast; associate producer, Charles Park. Reviewed at Busan Film Festival (Korean Cinema Today -- Panorama), Oct. 12, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

E J-yong, Youn Yuh-jung, Park Hee-soon, Gang Hye-jung, Oh Jung-se, Kim Min-hee, Kim Ok-vin, Ryu Deok-hwan, Ha Jung-woo, Lee Joon-ik, Kim Do-hoon, Ryoo Seung-wan, Kim Ok-vin. (Korean, English dialogue)

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