Film: Rolling Home With A Bull (Sowa Hamgge Yeonghaenghaneun Beom / 소와 함께 여행하는 법)
Director (& co-writer): Yim Soon-rye
Venue [first time around]: Korean Cultural Centre, Charing Cross (London)
Venue [20th December 2012]: Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly (London)
Running time: 110 minutes
- Literal Title: How To Travel With A Cow
- The film ‘World Premiered’ at the 15th (2010) Pusan [now Busan] International Film Festival
- Although witnessed previously you too can catch this film for FREE at the Apollo Cinema, West End courtesy of the forever-giving KCCUK (Korean Cultural Centre, London). The film is being shown as part of their “2012 – Year of 12 Directors” season, and what a lovely way to round of a fabulous year of similarly talented directors’ and their movies.
We’re all on a journey. But I guarantee that nobody is on one quite like this.
A family, a bull and a man on a mission. [Perhaps though, ‘mission should read missionary’ are one’s thoughts as the film progresses.]
Yep, it’s not hard to guess what this film is about or at least what it involves – unless you’ve read the book (“”Sowa Hamgge Yeonghaenghaneun Beom” by Kim Do-Yeon). Call it a road trip if you like. Perhaps even a rogue trip, considering how a certain young man is thought of by his father and subsequently by the means in which he vacates the family home with this creature.
However, when I first saw this film (at the KCCUK) a long while ago, the first thing I noticed was the acting. Which cast member, you ask? No… I mean, the bull! I’ve never witnessed such conviction. Did this bull go to the Tom Cruise school of acting, for those certain glances? But seriously, whether you think Mr Cruise is a good actor or not, Mr Moo-s most certainly is.
Anyhow, back to the spoiler-free story.
This guy, Sun-ho (Kim Young-pil) has set off with a bull. It’s perhaps unclear why. Maybe he’s sick of his home life, is wanting to find himself or indeed has bigger – even monetary – plans for this animal.
Early circumstances lead Sun-ho to liaise with a female acquaintance, a girl from his past. This girl is Hyun-soo, beautifully played [beautiful in more than one way] by Kong Hyo-jin. The conditions under which the two meet are believable but a little dark. A lot of time has passed since seeing one another and as they sit having a bite to eat & a drink, they have little to say.
Whilst snacking and no-n0-chatting I noticed a double electric-socket, devoid of any plugs. This felt like – to Mini Mini at least – that it represented the fact that these charcaters were a couple of bright sparks but ‘disconnected’. Had they lost that electricity?
Emotions are soon obvious and shown to be growing with this young man. I’m referring to the bull and him rather than this girl. In fact, this woman disappears from the story, for a while.
For whatever reason, or reasons Sun-ho continues his travels, bonding with the bull actor while he goes and it’s not long before he bumps into another character, one with religious leanings. Well, leanings or learnings. At this point there is a great use of the phrase “Oh My God”.
The road movie continues and in parts does so to beats of a musical threesome known as Peter, Paul & Mary. We hear their song about “many, many miles” as well as seeing that there is more to this band than meets the… errr, ear. Indeed, this musical group play both a considerable part in the film, as well as, of course their instruments!
What follows is a bizarre sequence of events [as if a roadtrip with a bull isn’t bizarre enough!?] and these occurences are not-quite-seamlessly intertwined with ‘normal’ occurrences.
Soon… A semi quick resolve? But that was perhaps just what the doctor ordered after many a misleading of the audience.
All in all a film which, in it’s journey shows us not only things we face in our present and from our past but also displays South Korea’s beautiful landscapes & furthermore, teachings of – or tones of – Buddhism.
But… Like many a cineaste, cinephile or cinemagoer, I like to read what I feel like into any film or indeed it’s title. Hence I like to think that this is simply a normal guy in a bizarre story (just like the title), or perhaps both. But are we, the audience to take the film’s name to mean…:
A) The man is in fact a kind of bull whom the girl perhaps rolls home with.
B) A guy simply ‘rolling home’ with the bull after finding himself. Thus, his home being in his heart?
Feel free to find the following Mini Mini Movie, & other Mini-er Movies (i.e. Trailers; Snippets) at:
“Is Is Pusan, Busan or… Bison?!”
First and Foremost [although almost Last in this article!], many thanks to the Korean Cultural Centre, London for arranging to have so many wonderful, diverse and interesting films showing at their venue – ALL movies screened there are FREE to anyone who books and attends.
Mini Mini Movie’s entry Tweet Tweview [Yes, you too can Tweet a review to win a brand new DVD – something the KCC offer after every screening!]…:
“@koreanfilmfest @KCCUK “Reflection is not in mirror of the past but in a cow-bell”
Before I go…:
2 items which you simply must be aware of are these.
Yes, the yearly KCC-arranged “London Korean Film Festival”. Details of the most recent and hugely successful one can be found here at the brilliant Hangul Celluloid website:
You see, as well as arranging the brilliant and aforementioned film festival, the KCC also put on other film-related events.
Not only this, they recently celebrated their 100th film night. The night was also part of the marvellous ’12 Directors’ year long event – Details Elsewhere… Where?… The ‘Otherwhere’ website:
That’s all Folks! I’ll leave you with the fabulous overview of this year’s LKFF! As well as a myriad of Korean guests, directors, a footballer and actors you’ll see attendees Bruce Willis, John Malkovich & Dame Helen Mirren joining in on the fun!
A final thought from our editor…:
“In fact, on the odd occasion I too have rolled home with a bull”.