The Ecological Environment of this Film
Berlin: Archive Books, 2012
It does not at all feel natural to treat this film within a predetermined genre or context. But if we made an attempt anyhow, we could say that the film intervenes in what is sometimes called classical film theory based on the ontological paradigm where formalistic theories, such as those of Sergej Eisenstein, are contrasted with theories oriented towards questions of realism, such as those of André Bazin for example.
The form of this film is too complicated to regard it merely as a realistic, let’s say ethnographical film, and I do not see any effort to do pansori tradition justice. While apparently the montage is neither constructed along a linear narrative with a starting point, nor following a predetermined editing principle, it should not be reduced to a representation of pansori’s grammar or an unconventional breach of style, even though such a reading would be possible. The distance and relation to the filmed objects vary at all times. In close-ups, medium shots, as well as location and milieu shots it is uncertain which object the camera is focusing on. The camera oscillates between static examinations as seen from a tripod, a groping registration with a shaky hand-held camera and occasionally a more or less cinematic perspective. [continue reading]