Two Weddings and a Funeral: Interview with Kim Jho Kwang-soo
Call it amazing timing.
What are the chances of running our (now annual) LGBT Blogathon 2012, and finding out that South Korean director Kim Jho Kwang-soo would be releasing a brand new LGBT film? Titled Two Weddings and a Funeral (두번의 결혼식과 한번의 장례식) [Trailer with English subtitles], the romantic comedy centers around the life of Min-soo (Kim Dong-yoon), a gay man who gets married to his lesbian friend, Hyo-jin (Ryoo Hyeon-Kyeong), to live the lives of heterosexual marital bliss with their respective partners living in the apartment next door.
So thanks to Sung Moon, who made everything possible to make this interview happen, we talked with director Kim Jho about all things Korea LGBT, and what his outlook is for the Korean LGBT film scene.
Being in such a conservative society, did you run into any trouble trying to shoot your short films, considering the themes you were dealing with?
There are not that many particular difficulties just because I made an LGBT film, even if they say Korea is conservative, nobody can’t easily talk about of LGBT rights. They are very watchful about showing loathing about LGBT rights, except for the conservative Protestant Church. That’s the current situation of Korea.
During the production, sometimes I hid that my film was an LGBT story when I was searching for locations and while shooting. Especially during Just Friends? (친구사이?), we needed to hide the subject of the film when we shot at the cathedral, the military camp and the bus terminal.
In the ending scene of that short, we had to hide our camera just in case there were any unfortunate incidents during the shooting of the kiss scene of Min-soo (Yeon Woo-jin) and Seok-i (Lee Je-hoon) at Gwanghwamun, center and symbol of Seoul.
Oh, yeah! Gwanghwamun was massive and filled with people! Must’ve been very difficult to shoot that scene without raising any eyebrows! How long did it take to shoot that scene?
We couldn’t take that long because we had to get out of there. After 30 minutes of shooting, there were NGs [No Good shots] so the actors had to kiss again and again. There were people who complained about it, and finally police came.
There was not that big of a problem, but we had to be rushed.