Often when we go to a multiplex theatre we’re faced with a choice, “Should I see the most recent blockbuster in 3D or save the extra couple bucks?” and we are left with varying results. Eschewing that trend is Park Hong-min’s A Fish, a stimulating independent 3D film that uses technology to amplify its story rather than as a marketing ploy.
Jeon-hyuk is a professor who has hired a private detective to find his missing wife. The investigation leads him to Jindo Island, where his wife is rumored to have become a mudang (female shaman)—a medium between the human and spirit worlds. In his search for his wife, Jeon-hyuk tries to unravel the mystery of her disappearance while navigating the strange island town she has supposedly settled in.
In A Fish, director Park explores the relationship between our world and the world of the spirits through his labyrinthine narrative and existential interstitials. Boats, and the islands of Jindo, are the meeting places of these worlds, represented by the land and the sea. It is Park’s use of the 3D medium, however, that makes the film unique. Though A Fish employs some of the requisite 3D tricks we’ve come to expect, Park specifically uses the format to convey a sense of the uncanny, to give us a gateway to an exploration of the spirit world. Shot on a slim budget but skillfully incorporating modern technology, this exciting film begins to scratch the surface of what is possible with 3D cinema—that it can help drive narrative storytelling to new heights instead of being a mere sideshow.
Writer / Director: Park Hong-Min
Producer: Choi Sung-Won
Cinematographer: Choi Sung-Won
Stereographer: Nam Jin-Ah
Editor: Lee Gang-Hee
Music: Oh Su-Jin
Cast: Lee Jang-Hoon, Kim Sun-Bin, Choi So-Eun, Park No-Sik, Kwon Yong-Hwan
Park Hong-Min is currently at the Graduate School of Digital Image and Contents, Dongguk University in Korea. He received a B.A. from Hallim University and graduated summa cum laude from Dongah Institute of Media and Arts in film directing. A Fish is Park’s first feature and was the first 3D film in competition for the International Film Festival Rotterdam Tiger Award in 2012.
Tiger Award Nominee, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012
Official Selection–Busan International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection–BFi London Film Festival 2012