condemned neighborhood in Pusan is haunted, but it is not necessarily paranormal. Yet, a sense of unnatural menace palpably
lingers in the air throughout Dahci Ma’s Ghost
trailer here), a
macabre short that competed in the prestigious short film competition at last
year’s Cannes Film Festival and finally screens in New York this week as part
of the 2012 Korean American Film Festival.
criminal is hiding from the police in a boarded up house steps away from where
his crimes were committed. It could be
the setting for a Grudge-like film,
but he has apparently generated the lingering ill karma himself. He is also losing his grip on reality,
finding companionship in his animated chicken bones.
some bizarre Ray Harryhausen-esque effects and an eerie sense of place, Ghost is certainly a creepy film. Whether intended or not, it also clearly
dampens viewer enthusiasm for urban renewal projects, using the actual
exteriors of Pusan “redevelopment” locations where similar crimes were
committed in real life. It also includes
one of the most counterproductive product placements ever, for an unfortunate
is like an upscale K-horror movie, de-emphasizing
gore in favor of psychological ambiguity and condensed into ten minutes. It is art cinema for genre diehards, or genre
filmmaking for demanding cineastes. An
accomplished and unsettling film, Ghost is
definitely one of the highlights of the short films selected for this year’s
Korean American Film Festival in New York,
suggesting Ma is a filmmaker to watch out for.
It screens as part of the Shorts 1
programming block this Thursday (6/7) and next Sunday (6/10) at the
Anthology Film Archives.
Labels: KAFFNY '12, Korean Cinema, Short Films