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Antique

Canadian Premiere

  • South korea 2008
  • 109 min
  • 35mm
  • Korean/french with English subtitles
Official Selection, New York Asian Film Festival 2009

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Credits

Director: Min Kyu-dong
Screenplay: Kim Da-young, Lee Kyeong-ee, Min Kyu-dong, from Fumi Yoshinaga
Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Jae-wook, Yoo Ah-in, Choi Ji-ho, Andy Gillet
Producers: Min Jin-soo, Lee Eugene
Distributor: Finecut

Description

Jin-hyeok (Ju Ji-hoon) is the owner of the Antique Bakery—and he despises all sweets. In need of assistance, he calls upon the services of an exceptionally talented baker (Kim Jae-wook) possessing a very special ability which he calls his “demonic gay charm,” enabling him to automatically seduce anybody regardless of their sexual orientation. Added to the mix are Ki-beom (Yoo Ah-in), a retired boxer who can never get enough cake, and Jin-hyeok’s childhood friend and bodyguard. Together, they transform the bakery into one of Korea’s most popular spots. But when a young client gets kidnapped, Jin-hyeok’s dark past, linked to the mysterious disappearance, resurfaces.

Manga adaptations are common in Asian cinema. Several have been screened at Fantasia, including DEATH NOTE and LE GRAND CHEF, as well as the first two parts of the 20TH CENTURY BOYS trilogy, which will be screened this year. ANTIQUE can be included in that list, as it’s based on the Japanese manga ANTIQUE BAKERY by Fumi Yoshinaga. In addition to having been translated into numerous languages, the manga was adapted for television in 2001 and more recently as an animated series. It was simply a matter of time before it found its way to the big screen. Two weeks after its South Korean release, over a million viewers had already crammed themselves into dark theatres for ir, making it one of the most popular films in the peninsula’s history. ANTIQUE’s culinary universe and spunky humour may recall the popular LE GRAND CHEF which screened last year at the festival, but the similarity stops there. Min Kyu-dong offers a surprising, intelligent film, directed with a master’s touch—an entertaining, fun and totally inebriating film that integrates dark parallels to add psychological substance to the whole. The creativity exercised in the unfolding tale, the visual dimension and the colorful aesthetic are sure to make it a favourite at Fantasia 2009. The chemistry between the four leads, including Ju Ji-hoon (THE PALACE STARS) and Kim Jae-wook, lights up the screen. Fall under ANTIQUE’s demonic charm and you’ll end up wishing for a second serving!

—Eric S. Boisvert (translated by Guillaume Desbiens)

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