universe should be a mysterious place for kids, but in a rewarding way. One middle school-ish boy is encouraged to
analyze it through science, while the girl he is fast developing a crush on
relates to the cosmos through her family’s apocalyptic Christianity. They are both charming youngsters, so it is a
pity they are stuck in such a too-cool-for-school slam on Evangelicals. It is exactly what you think, but the
co-leads bring energy and credibility to Willem Lee’s short film, End of the World, which screens during
the 2013 Korean American Film Festival in New York.
Lee wears a suit to school every day, even though it isn’t required. Science has always been his thing. Relating to his parents is always difficult,
but he had a special relationship with his recently deceased grandmother. When Eunyi Suk distributes her hand-made
religious tracts in school, he most definitely notices. She would be a cool kid with a rebellious streak,
were she not caught up in her parents’ Harold Camping brand of end-of-the-world
gets rather attached to Suk in their brief time together, but she makes it
clear they have no future together because the world has no future. While she maintains outward appearances at
school, she informs him her family will soon be leaving, in anticipation of the
captures the crummy feelings of helplessness we all had when our childhood
friends were forced to move away due to the arbitrary circumstances of their
parents’ lives. Of course, it was
considerably worse when it was a kind of sort of girlfriend. The performances of Ryan Kim and Stephanie
Shen are beyond winning as Lee and Suk, respectively. Never precious, they are serious young people
who command our respect and attention as they develop some genuinely touching
screen chemistry together.
Unfortunately, it all comes wrapped in a cheap shot directed at
is definitely worth seeing for the assured work
of its young co-leads. Viewers should
tune-out the biases and concentrate on them.
Recommended with the given reservations, End of the World screens tomorrow (10/24) as part of KAFFNY’s
shorts competition at the Village East Cinemas.
Labels: Apocalyptic cinema, KAFFNY '13, Short Films