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Cannes hidden gem: Jason Yu learns from Bong Joon-ho on making heartbreaking horror 'Sleep'

First-time filmmaker Jason Yu, review of his horror flick Sleep at Cannes May Man premiered midweek 21, honing his craft under the tutelage of South Korea’s best. The aspiring director’s first industry job after graduating from Seoul Film Academy was as an assistant director on Bong Joon-ho’s Netflix sci-fi adventure Okja, which premiered in Cannes reflect. Yu credits the experience with teaching him “almost everything” he knows about filmmaking.

“I didn’t really realize what I was looking at because I wasn’t there to study,” he recalls. “I just wanted to do my best not to ruin the movie. But when I was making Sleep, I realized that I was trying to imitate, consciously or not, what Director Bong was doing. Everything — during pre-production, during production, the actor in the way I talked to him, even during post-production and promotion.”

After Okja Soon, Yu, who was partially English-raised and bilingual, was hired by Lee Cangdong to translate and write English subtitles for the Korean director’s “Now” – the classic existential thriller Burning, which won a Cannes fee. Bixi International Film Critics Award . By then, Yu had subtitled several blockbuster Korean films, but he had never met a filmmaker with such an obsession with detail as Lee, who began his career as a famous literary novelist.

“Usually when subtitling, I don’t interact much with the director—I just deliver the final translated product,” recalls Yu. “But Director Lee, even though he doesn’t speak much English, wanted to discuss the intention behind each dialogue and review each translated word to understand why I chose it.”

He continued: “I would be rude to call him ‘Brave’ because he was my predecessor and one of our greatest artists, but he even asked me – after many discussions – Deliberately made some of the English dialogue sound more unnatural and grammatically wrong, because in Korean, he wanted some of the lines to sound weird, or ambiguous. I find this inspiring, as with all the other directors I’ve worked with Both insist that all dialogue sound very colloquial, American, and articulate. What I’ve learned from Director Lee is that directors should think very deeply about their intentions—and be confident in those choices.”

It can be said that Yu’s debut album Sleep bears traces of both influences. The film is as much a subtly realized exercise in genre as it is a film of subtle personal intent.

by Lee Sun Kyun (the rich patriarch of Bong’sParasite) and Jung Yu Mi(Train to Busan and Hong Sang-soo’s regular guest Muse), Sleep follows a happy newlywed whose domestic bliss is disrupted when the husband starts talking in his sleep — repeatedly saying, “Someone’s in there.” Soon , he begins to transform completely into another person in an increasingly belligerent sleepwalk. Fearing that he might harm herself or their young family — including their unborn child — the wife is gradually consumed by an irrational fear that is itself dangerous.

Yu said his initial ostensible goal was to simply make an entertaining suspenseful horror film. But as he wrote the script, a more personal element seeped into the story.

“I was getting ready to marry my girlfriend of many years because I was on the cusp and I guess I was unconsciously trying to present a less typical portrait of marriage,” he Said. “Usually, in movies about marriage, I find that the central conflict usually stems from either the husband or the wife making some kind of irreparable mistake, or one of them just falling out of love. Since I’m getting married to my sweetheart, I Don’t want to portray marriage that way. I wanted to show a couple who really love each other and support each other like best friends. So instead of giving them an internal failure, I gave them a dangerous external barrier – something beyond conscious control stuff – and trying to show that they can only overcome this together as a married unit.”

Yu maintains a relationship with Bong and shows the old director his script Drafts and cuts of the film in various stages, which he admits were “very lucky for the first time” director. ”

“Director Bong gave me a lot of important notes about things I could fine-tune, but most importantly – when I finished the first draft of the script – he told My biggest challenge with this story was convincing the audience why the wife didn’t just leave when their situation became more and more extreme,” Yu said. a little.

Yu added: “So when I showed him the final cut and he told me his concerns were well addressed, I was very happy and grateful . ” 2018



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