Season In The Sun

After effectively disappearing off the map since his debut pic, sassy fest hit "A Hot Roof" (1995), helmer Lee Min-yeong makes a quieter but equally affecting return with his very different third feature, "Season in the Sun." Smoothly shot yarn about a young pastor who befriends a soccer-mad boy deserves play in kidfests but also in regular events' sidebars, due to its well-drawn, unsentimentally portrayed characters.

With:
With: Jang Mi-heui, Park Yeong-gyu, Cha In-pyo, Shin Ae, Choi Ju-bong, Yun Min-shik, Kim Jin-tae, Lee Sung-hun, Kwak Jeong-wook, Jo Mun-heui, Kim Bong-ju, Bae Jeong-eun.

After effectively disappearing off the map since his debut pic, sassy fest hit “A Hot Roof” (1995), helmer Lee Min-yeong makes a quieter but equally affecting return with his very different third feature, “Season in the Sun.” Smoothly shot yarn about a young pastor who befriends a soccer-mad boy deserves play in kidfests but also in regular events’ sidebars, due to its well-drawn, unsentimentally portrayed characters. Film performed only moderately on release in April.

Sixth-grader Hyeong-woo (Kwak Jeong-wook) journeys from Seoul to the village of Boriul during his vacation — Korean title means “Boriul Summer” — to visit his father, Woo-nam (Park Yeong-gyu), who left his family to become a Buddhist monk. Also on the bus is Father Stefano Kim (Cha In-pyo), who soon faces difficulties connecting with his rural flock, but finds purpose in training Hyeong-woo and the church orphans to take on the arrogant local tykes in a soccer match. There’s nothing particularly novel about the childhood pranks, dumb yokel types and kindly village nuns (Jang Mi-heui, Shin Ae), but pic has a gentle irony, boosted by natural performances, that elevates it above the usual cozy heart-warmers.

Season In The Sun

South Korea

Production: An Aura Entertainment release of an MP Entertainment Co. production. (International sales: Tube Entertainment, Seoul.) Produced by Jo Sun-muk. Executive producer, Jung Yeong-min. Directed by Lee Min-yeong. Screenplay, Lee Man-heui, Lee Min-yeong.

Crew: Camera (color), Lee Byeong-ho; editor, Go Im-pyo; music, Lee Yeong-hun; art director, Hwang Ho-yeon. Reviewed on flight KE 980, London-Seoul, July 11, 2003. (Also in Pucho Intl. Fantastic Film Festival.) Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With: Jang Mi-heui, Park Yeong-gyu, Cha In-pyo, Shin Ae, Choi Ju-bong, Yun Min-shik, Kim Jin-tae, Lee Sung-hun, Kwak Jeong-wook, Jo Mun-heui, Kim Bong-ju, Bae Jeong-eun.

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