Film #15: Just Friends? (2009)

aka: Chingusai? / 친구사이?
directed by: Kim Jho Kwang-Soo
length: 29 minutes
language: Korean
watched on: 24/Jun

An interesting short gay film… unlike many other films out there, it doesn’t waste any time on much build-up or anything like that and gets fairly straight to the point, since it’s only half an hour long, but it gets its fair share of angst in there alright.

Basically, the main character visits his boyfriend in the army; they go home but run into his mother, who insists that the “friend” stay for tea; there’s a storm or something, so he can’t go home and must stay the night in the same bed as the mother and son; they start to have sex the next morning while the mother is out but then she walks in on them; then angst angst goddamn bloody angst and stereotypical vapid nonsense. Maybe I’m just privileged having never really had trouble with being gay, but I understand that this film was quite controversial in Korea, and it certainly highlights some challenges that gay guys face there… and yet I don’t really get it. It doesn’t speak to me in the same way that it probably would to a young gay guy in Korea watching it. And thus I kind of can see it’s important, but for me it was just a bit rubbish.

Acting was as wooden as a stick, too. Cute guys, though, shame it wasn’t a porno and they didn’t actually go through with the sexy bit.

Anyway, at half an hour it’s not like I wasted my life on it. Interesting look at Korean attitudes towards gays, anyway – ie they don’t seem to be much fond of them.


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