Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Kim Dong-Wook, Lee Young-Hoon, Lee Han, Cho Hyun-chul, Jung Seung-gil
Director: Leesong Hee-il
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
This award-winning film is a romantic drama between two Korean gay men that interweaves the bliss of love with the harsh politics of class distinction. — The Los Angeles Times calls 'No Regrets' an "exhilarating feature deb... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
A Haunting Film
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 03/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
A Haunting Film
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
Another film that has been making festival rounds this year is the haunting and unforgettable "No Regret" from Korea. Made for under $[...], it is a memorable gay themed film that I hope we will see soon on DVD. The artistic standards are very high, the acting is excellent and the script and direction are wonderful.
Sumin is an orphan who tries to find a balance between working in a factory and studying art at the university. One evening a rich young businessman attempts to proposition him during one of his driving jobs. They decide to meet the next day and Sumin discovers that his factory job has been cut. Sumin eventually is seduced into working as a male prostitute in an upscale male brothel. As he is lusted after by his former bossâ(tm)s son, Jaemin, we find a world of overt sexuality and unexpected passion, desire and misunderstanding wreak havoc which is highly intense.
One of the interesting things about this film is that is the first full length feature for both the lead actor and the director. They both are sensational,
Toward the end of the film there is an unexpected narrative twist which some may find upsetting and even unbelievable. However, I realize that to fully understand the ending, the viewer must totally immerse himself in this beautiful film."
"Once there was a shy man who fell in love with a poor man..
JUST A REVIEWER2 | 04/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
.........but the poor man wouldn't accept the shy man's heart." [this parable-like utterance is the lead-in to a love scene you won't want to miss]
((Here is my approach to obtaining/viewing/reviewing Gay tales in film form. Simply, it's seeking the holy grail of that genre, or looking for the "Addictive Film"---that movie one returns to time and again). Selection/purchase is based mainly on finding new releases by favorite directors/screenwriters and/or your comments/reviews at major online film sales or review sites. Sometimes I feel correctly steered by you (the "Keepers" filling my DVD shelves), other times mislead, occasionally badly (the "Throwaways"----and I do toss 'em). Rarely, I come across the "Addictive," those watchable every couple of months or so (see below starred *** area for a list......and some "near-addictive" as well). For some movies, I'll share a review with you, as follows. Thanks for sticking with me so far.))
Opposites in life, they meet, they fight, they fall tumultuously in love (well, not so easily as all that). One of them (Jae-Min) is the wealthy and well educated son of a big industrialist........the other (Su-Min) is the lead we follow in this tale. He's a just-in-from-the-country, young man (and an orphan) who is wise from life's hard knocks (yeah, yeah, it's cliched.....but how do you avoid that in these sorts of films). From the beginning, our unhappy, has-it-all-in-life second lead (who's engaged and on the verge of marriage) falls hard. And it's through his persistent pursuit that lead character, Su-Min, finally overcomes his reluctance involving the several differences between them and accepts the reality of their love. What follows is one of gay filmdom's better love scenes. As one might expect, all that comes along is not smooth sailing. Through misunderstandings, both lovers pass the very brink of near-death, itself, before a resolution is reached.
PS--I should point out that the original Korean DVD release (Region 3) contained very, very poorly done translation to English subtitling. One can only hope that "Liberation Entertainment's" release, shown here on Amazon.com, will have made more correct translations.
***While this film is not yet "Addictive," other films are: "Just a Question of Love" / "Shelter" / "Brokeback Mountain" / "Boy Culture" / "All Over the Guy" / "Second Skin (Unrated Version)" / "The Man I Love" / "The Man of My Life" (maybe for older gay viewers) / "OH HAPPY DAY (DVD MOVIE)" / "Fashion Victims ( Reine Geschmacksache ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Great Britain ]" NOTE: A Region 1 (US), widescreen version of "Fashion Victims" is available through TLAVideo.com
Darkly emotional and captivating film is a must-see!
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 06/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A poor boy falls in love with a rich one ... it's a story that has been told over and over in gay films, but not as well as it is in "No Regret" (Huhwihaji anha) (South Korea 2006), a landmark Asian film now available (subtitled) on DVD for American audiences.
Lee Su-min is a poor 18 year old from a country orphanage, who stays with a friend in Seoul and tries to make a living, working at both a factory and as a driver for a service. When a rich slightly older man makes a pass at him on the job, Lee Su-min overreacts and quits that job, and soon loses his factory job as well. He goes to work for a "host bar" (brothel), where the rich older man finds him again, but is again told that he is not interested, but he persists. Eventually, he becomes secure enough to realize that his suitor doesn't have all of the power, and genuinely falls in love with the man. But the man's parents have already arranged a marriage for him, and that leaves Lee Su-min out in the cold.
This is very different than most Asian gay films I have seen, being extremely emotional and more than a bit dark and violent. But the director did wonders with his tiny budget, getting commendable performances from a cast of fully-developed characters, and pacing the film for maximum effect. Rated R for rear nudity and simulated sex. Adapted for US distribution by a subsidiary of Here!TV, so likely to be on their OnDemand schedule at some point. DVD is in Korean with English subtitles, no extras other than a trailer and photo gallery. Definitely worth a look, I give this one a full five stars out of five."
Universals: Common Denominators in Life and Love
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NO REGRET (HUHWIHAJI ANHA) is an impressive film from Korea, especially in that it is the first venture for writer/director Hee-il Leesong who gives evidence of not only a his ability to create a film that examines life in Korea in a verismo style, but also knows how to cast and direct a crew of actors in a polished manner. He is most assuredly a new artist to watch.
NO REGRET takes many chances with the story of Korean orphans growing to the age of self-sufficiency without the guidance of parents, fending out a life with the sole support of their fellow orphans. The boys in this story come from the country with little exposure to the city life of Seoul and the tough choices that must be made to survive. The other side of the story reflects the wealthy young men who come from homes burdened with high expectations and preordained 'lives' of inheriting the family business, marrying the right girl, continuing the level of 'sophistication' to which they were born. NO REGRET places a member of each of these disparate groups together and the impact of opposite backgrounds is the thread that weaves so well through this love story.
Lee Su-min (the remarkably gifted newcomer Young-hoon Lee) is the orphan who works at menial jobs until he finds a source of good money as a rent boy in a company called XLarge. Su-min adapts well as he is apparently comfortable with his sexuality: his fellow ex-orphans who work at XLarge present the gamut of types that find prostitution monetarily if not emotionally rewarding. At a chance encounter Su-Min meets Song Jae-min (Nam-gil Kim) and while the attraction is one sided at first, Jae-min is bound by family expectations to marry and take over the family business and has not come to grips with his sexuality. Fear and recognition of class differences keeps Su-min from responding to the near stalking Jae-min, but eventually the attraction blossoms and differences seem to disappear. The two young men have found love, but Jae-min must cope with the expectations of his family - the results being devastating to both men in different ways. How the relationship works through this rocky road is the essence of the film and to discuss the ending would be to destroy the impact of the film.
Every aspect of this film - writing, directing, acting, lighting, music, editing - is first rate. No one who sees this film will be able to escape the impact of the characterization by Young-hoon Lee: his screen presence is magnetic and his range of acting is solid. He definitely is a rising star. As for writer/director Hee-il Leesong, here is a man who not only knows the art of story telling but also the sensitive insight as to the parameters of both economy and exposition when each element of the story calls. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, 09"