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- Movie: The Last Dining Table
- Hangul: 마지막 밥상
- Revised romanization: Majimak babsang
- Director: Gyeong-tae Roh
- Writer: Gyeong-tae Roh
- Release Date: August 10, 2006 (Locarno Film Festival) / April 11, 2008 (South Korea)
- Runtime: 91 min
- Production Budget: US$ 53,000
- Language: Korean
- Country: South Korea
Taking as its themes the collapse of family values and the effects of global chaos, The Last Dining Table is a lyrical, meditative creation that fuses surreal imagery with a memorable soundtrack and a minimalist yet multi-layered narrative. The result is an enigmatic portrait of a seemingly unconnected group of characters in the outskirts and slums of Seoul - a grandmother who wants to divorce her dead husband, a mother who works in a mortuary, a father addicted to gambling and a teenage son who works as a cabaret singer. Employing sparse dialogue and stunning cinematography, director Roh Gyeong-tae allows his characters enough time to slowly divulge their stories, before finally uniting them in the film's shocking conclusion.
Director Roh Gyeong-Tae’s debut is one of the most stimulating and original Korean films of 2006. Hard to classify, we have before us the first pic by a filmmaker who should be followed very closely, considering the skill he shows in creating atmospheres and compositions of unquestionable visual impact. Subtle and minimalist, sad but not pessimistic, The Last Dining Table is concerned about the life and fate of people who have been marginalized by modern society, through different narrative lines that come together like a collage and that only find a common link at the end of the film. With its hypnotic soundtrack a somewhat surrealist and, and the same time, poetic style the film tells the story of a group of characters from Seoul, through brief fragments that seemingly succeed each other randomly and enigmatically but that in the end make up a fascinating fresco that will remain in many spectators’ memories. Presented at the last Pusan Festival, tucked away in a parallel section, this gem went almost unnoticed and there is no question that it is not for all tastes, but will be savored by audiences eager for new forms of film expression.
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