Less than two weeks ago came a tiny bit of promotional material for director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Mother, but it was really just a few seconds of footage from the film and some talking head-style interview clips with director Bong. Now there’s an official site up with a streaming version of the trailer which gives more a sense of the story and characters. Won Bin (Taegukgi) plays a mentally challenged young man who is wrongly accused of murder by the local police, and television actress Kim Hye-ja plays his mother, who sets out alone to prove his innocence. Reader skyccm recently read a Korean-language interview in which Bong discusses Mother, and was nice enough to summarize and provide a rough translation:
Bong wanted to show a different side of Kim Hye-ja, who is affectionately known as Korea’s “national mother” from her many similar roles on television dramas. Bong said the process of this film began with nothing more than a desire to work with Kim, and that he then wrote the script with her in mind as the lead. When The Host was released in 2003, Bong mentioned in several interviews that Kim Hye-jin was the actor he most wanted to work with for his next film, and that he had been a big fan of her work since 1992. Bong was finally able to meet Kim in 2004, and they began talks for her to appear in the film.
As I mentioned before, Bong has quite a fine touch with human drama—whether it’s set against the backdrop of a dark comedy like Barking Dogs Never Bite or a monster movie like The Host—so it should be quite interesting to see what looks to be a highly charged drama which he wrote from the beginning for a specific actor as the emotional core of the story. No word on a release date in Korea or abroad, but Bong’s profile has been rising quite a lot lately, especially with the release of the omnibus film Tokyo! (which screens in DC beginning this Friday), so expect to see this one in the States at some point. (Big thanks to skyccm for the translation help!)