[BIFF world] Second Life
PARK Young-ju | Korea | 2018 | 70min | New Currents
OCT 09 L3 20:00 OCT 10 L10 13:00 OCT 12 L3 16:00
Short, and not so sweet, the concise Second Life depicts the misadventures of a teenage girl who has trouble finding her true self and so becomes obsessed with the lives of others. A showcase for lead actress Jung Da-eun, this low-budget film’s first half outlines how troubled Seoul schoolgirl Sunhee is willing to do anything to be liked by the hippest kids at her school. From splurging on K-pop concert tickets to picking up the tab for impromptu norae-bang sessions, no sacrifice is too great for Sunhee to please her friends — especially since the teenager’s corporate, and completely indifferent, mother is bankrolling her daughter’s co-dependency. Naturally Sunhee gets more scorn than
respect from her peers with this friend-making strategy, but when her social ambitions spectacularly go awry, the demoralised highschooler creates another identity for herself in the countryside. Despite some logistic holes, writer/director Park Young-ju manages to keep the story ticking along with some verve as the audience waits for the inevitable unravelling of Sunhee’s second ad hoc scheme. An intoxicating piano score by Chung Yea-kyung hits the right notes of mystery and elegance, while on the visual level, camera work is easy on the eye, as it adds to the aura of impending doom.