By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) — The director of “The Villainess,” one of two South Korean midnight screening films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, said Thursday he tried experimenting with new filming techniques to capture footage that was unprecedented in previous action movies.
“As opposed to searching out movies to reference, I thought a lot about how I could film at an angle that no one has thought of before,” director Jung Byung-gil said at a media event held at the CGV theater in Apgujeong-dong, southern Seoul.
“The Villainess” is an action movie about a woman raised to be a merciless killer and the secrets and revenge of two men around her. It stars Kim Ok-bin and Shin Ha-kyun, the stars of Park Chan-wook’s 2009 vampire film “Thirst” and Jang Hoon’s 2011 war movie “The Front Line.”
“I tried capturing supposedly impossible action scenes using cameras that are smaller than the ones commonly used,” Jung said, adding, “I believe I produced something quite new in terms of motorcycle action scenes.”
When asked about the Cannes Festival’s decision to accept into competition only films that commit to being distributed in French theaters, the South Korean filmmaker responded, “I haven’t thought about it much.”
The cast said that filming was generally grueling, with lead star Kim, who plays female assassin Sook-hee, saying she toiled through multiple takes on several occasions to get the perfect action shot in the freezing cold this past winter.
“Filming was difficult to the point of almost dying figuratively. The movie was shot in the winter and during a rain scene, I felt like I was going to die from hypothermia,” said Kim.
The actress also felt as if the fate of future female-oriented action films was also on her shoulders.
“I thought that more female action movies could bear fruit down the road only if I did my part well,” said Kim.
Shin plays Joong-sang, a character that trains Sook-hee to be killer. The star said he found filming enjoyable since he already had worked closely together with Kim in two previous films. Shin appeared with a cast on his left leg due to an injury sustained during filming.
“It’s a movie that will offer freshness to moviegoers fed up with male-centric action films. Please look forward towards Kim’s sensitive acting and powerful actions,” Shin said.
Also starring Sung Joon and Kim Seo-hyung, “The Villainess” opens at the South Korean box office in early June.