Leading Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho expressed confidence in the artistic quality of his latest film "Mother," set to join the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes film festival next month.
"When I looked at the lineup in the competition section at the Cannes film festival this year, I felt there was a clear limit for me to join the power list, but I`m confident about my new film`s artistic level," Bong told reporters at a news conference in Seoul on Monday.
Bong`s failure to join the prestigious competition section at Cannes, however, does not mean he`s an outsider. After all, with "Mother" Bong has now been invited to Cannes for a third time, a recognition coveted by filmmakers around the world.
Kim Hye-ja, the veteran actress who plays the title role, said she`s relieved about the entry into the non-competition section of Cannes.
"I don`t like competition in the first place and I think it`s good that we are not competing with other films," she said.
Kim said that Bong provided her acting career with new impetus.
"He helped me reactivate all the cells that have been dormant in my body," Kim said. "I ran a lot for the film, even when it was raining, but I didn`t feel any fatigue because that`s what I was supposed to do for the role."
Kim is widely regarded for acting skills closely related to the traditional image of a Korean mother. As she has enhanced this image by appearing as a parent in many television dramas, Bong said he would have given up the project if Kim did not accept his offer to play the main role.
Bong said Won Bin, who plays Kim Hye-ja`s son in the film, performed even better than expected.
"When I met Won Bin for the first time, I noticed he has innocent eyes - eyes that are perfect for the son character. Although he looks innocent, he was very eager to push the limit and top expectations at the shooting," Bong said.
The young actor returns to Korean cinema in five years after his high-profile role in "Taegukgi," the 2004 Korean War blockbuster.
In the film, a mother lives alone with her 28-year-old son. Their life turns upside down when the young man is implicated in a murder case. Despite there being no credible evidence against him, he is implicated by the police, forcing his mother to do whatever she can to prove his innocence.
By Yang Sung-jin