I should have jumped on board with the project 나를 잊지 말아요 (Remember O Goddess) long ago already. But I didn’t have time to check it out properly and I am not one to support something without being fully informed. (Like that recent Twitter-trending initiative for a cancer-stricken 15-year old – everyone blindly retweeted without bothering to check the facts. Well, I did. No worries, the girl is real but she’s 16 – a detail that none of the retweets I saw got correct.)
Anyhow, I finally watched the 25-minute video today… and wanted more. So I’ll jump on board officially now and help drum up support for Remember O Goddess. But let’s start from the beginning…
나를 잊지 말아요 (Nareul ijji Marayo/Remember O Goddess) is film project directed by Lee Yoon Jung. It’s a film noir, with a wonderfully gripping premise: a man (Kim Jung-tae) cannot remember who he is and only has memories from the moment he finds himself in an apartment in a black, high-rise building. There are clues to his identity, but he can’t be sure that is him, if the apartment is indeed his or if anything in there really belongs to him. The world around him isn’t helping: A lady calls from a hospital, requesting money for his mother’s surgery, but refuses to confirm his name. After a small package containing cigarettes is delivered, he goes out to buy a lighter in a nearby convenience store, the girl at the cashier treating him as if he were a regular customer. However, when he returns in hope that she might provide some clues to his identity, the girl has disappeared – yet another dead end…
The first 25 minutes of the film have been shot and the full video can be watched online here. In order to make Remember O Goddess a full-length feature film, a Kickstarter Campaign is currently underway to raise at least $30,000 for shooting and postproduction – any penny extra will go towards paying the cast. The aim is to get this money together by May 10th – soon! The good news, however, is that 89% of the funds have been pledged, so it’s doable.
Things that Have Me Intrigued Already…
- Kim Jung-tae, a well-known actor in South Korea (he has starred in lots of films and dramas, from 원더풀 라디오/Wondeopool Radio/Wonderful Radio to 미스 리플리/Miseu Ripeulli/Miss Ripley), delivers a strong performance in the opening scene, clearly distraught as he enters the police station to report a missing person – himself. I love the way the rather disinterested policeman asks him one question after another, each deceptively simple but increasingly unsettling for a man without memory. What’s the name of the missing person? Time and place of disappearance? And the final punch-in-the-gut: What’s your relationship to the missing person?
- The character checks himself out in the mirror in order to answer one of the policeman’s questions. Except that there is no mirror – the camera films Kim from the other side, we see very tiny movements that suggest he is looking at his reflection and only when he has moved on to respond to the next question do we get to see the window pane behind him. It’s subtle, it doesn’t matter for the story line, but it’s a lovely little detail that reveals the care that has been taken in the making of Remember O Goddess.
- The titles. Yes, titles. The Korean 나를 잊지 말아요, which Google Translate literally renders as “Do Not Forget Me”, and the English, Remember O Goddess. They are inverted. Check the poster – the hangul is written in a mirror image:
The same applies for the English title, which on screen appears mirrored:
Is this the director simply playing around a bit? Or is there some symbolism related to the story behind it? Let’s hope we’ll get to find out.
Screenings at Film Festivals
The 25 minute short of Remember O Goddess has screened – and received praise – at several film festivals in the US and South Korea including:
- LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Finalist for Golden Reel Jury Award for Short Film, Los Angeles, USA
- Urban Suburban Film Festival, Philadelphia, USA
- New York City International Film Festival, NYC, USA
- Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival, Competition in A Short Film About Love, Seoul, South Korea
- Philadelphia Film and Animation Festival, Philadelphia, USA
- San Diego Asian American Film Festival, San Diego, USA
The short is set to show next at the Korean Film Festival in in Australia (KOFFIA), with stops in Sydney (August), Melbourne (September) and Brisbane (September).
As for Europe, I am keeping my fingers crossed that our lovely KCCUK can bring the 25-min short to its annual London Korean Film Festival later this year – and the full-length film to a future event once completed.
How to Get Involved:
- The Kickstarter Campaign website where you can get involved and help get this project of the ground with as little as $1 (or more if you like): Remember O Goddess Kickstarter Campaign.
- Vote for Remember O Goddess as Project of the Week on indiewire.com (voting closes on Tuesday, May 8). UPDATE: Remember O Goddess won! Now we can aim for Project of the Month – I will be sure to let you know when voting opens.
- Spread the news. On Twitter. On Facebook. By email. And even by good old word-of-mouth!
- How about creating a Wikipedia page for Remember O Goddess? (I just checked: it doesn’t exist yet.) Or at other wikis and databases?
- The official website of Remember O Goddess.
- The film’s official Facebook page.
- The film’s official Twitter feed,
- Hangul Celluloid’s interview with Lee Yoon Jung about the project.
- Hancinema’s interview with Lee Yoon Jung.
- YAM magazine’s short interview with Kim Jung-tae.