It’s the fifth time already. Director KIM Ji-woon and actor SONG Kang-ho have worked together on six films, starting with 1998’s A Quiet Family, followed by The Foul Play King, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (hereafter referred to as Gnomon Gnomon), Milyang, and this year’s Spider’s Nest, which was selected for the 76th Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, as well as an early short film, The Power of Love.
From “Monster,” “Milyang,” “Nom Nom Nom,” “Bat,” “Parasite,” “Declaration of Emergency,” “Broker,” and “Spider’s Nest,” Song Kang-ho has been to Cannes eight times and walked the red carpet with Kim Ji-woon on two of them. For Kim Ji-woon, who is making her 10th feature film, this means that she has been with Song Kang-ho for half of her filmography.
Kim Ji-woon and Song Kang-ho shine in ‘King Foul’ style comedy
(L-R) “Spider House” actors Song Kang-ho, Jang Young-nam, Im Soo-jeong, Park Jung-soo, director Kim Ji-woon and actress Jung Soo-jeong walk the red carpet for the world premiere of the non-competition section of the 76th annual Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 25 (local time). AFP
Actors arrive on the red carpet for the premiere of “The Spider’s Nest” at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday (April 25). AFP
Actors arrive on the red carpet for the premiere of “The Spider’s Web” at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday. AFP
Director Kim Ji-woon arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of “A Spider’s Nest” at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday. AFP
Set on a 1970s movie set, “Spider’s Nest” follows director Kim Ki-yeol’s (Song Kang-ho) near-maniacal obsession with creating a masterpiece. For days on end, Kim has recurring dreams about a movie he’s already shot.
“To the point where “the films are projected in my head” and “replayed in my dreams,” he feels that if he can capture them, they will be “undoubtedly a masterpiece.”
Of course, Chairman Baek (Jang Young-nam), the producer, is against the idea of remaking a movie that’s still intact, but Mido (Jeon Yeo-bin), his niece and the real-life heir to the film company, thinks it’s going to be amazing when she reads the revised script.
The actors and staff, who don’t speak English, work together to complete the movie in a strange and unconventional way, with a new scenario that may seem harsh to some, while avoiding the interference of the censors.
The movie ‘The Spider’s Nest’. Photo Cannes Film Festival
The Spider’s Nest shines with situational pacing and brilliant comedic chemistry, reminiscent of a combination of Kim Ji-woon and Song Kang-ho circa A Quiet Family and Cheating King.
The premiere screening at the Lumiere Theater in Cannes at 10:30 p.m. (local time) on Sept. 25 was filled with laughter and occasional sighs and applause. The screening was followed by a 12-minute standing ovation that director Kim Ji-woon said, “This is my third Cannes Film Festival, but I’ve never had a standing ovation this long.”
12-minute standing ovation for Song Kang-ho at Cannes for the 8th time
“The tension that comes from the anticipation of showing a movie for the first time is the same, but nowadays it’s a different kind of tension,” said Song Kang-ho, who was first invited to the festival in 2006 with “Monster.
“I know that a lot of foreign audiences, a lot of international audiences, are paying attention to Korean films, so there’s a healthy amount of pressure that comes with that, and I don’t think it’s going to go away even if I come to Cannes 80 times.”
Kim’s “unwavering faith” in actor Song Kang-ho has been reinforced by the experience.
“When he’s on set, I sometimes feel like there’s another director, another producer, and he’s an actor who sees the whole movie, the whole scene, like a director. In terms of competence, seniority, and presence, I thought he was the best and most right choice for the role of Kim Ki-yeol, the director of ‘Spider House’.”
Kim Ji-woon “Song Kang-ho looks at me in the camera”
Director Kim Ji-woon answers questions from reporters during the official press conference for “Coweb” at the Palais des Festivals in the southern French city of Cannes on May 26, one day before the closing of the 76th Cannes International Film Festival. 2023.5.26/news1
Song Kang-ho also praised Kim Ji-woon’s ability to “bring out the latent abilities of actors.”
Under Kim Ji-woon’s direction토토사이트, Lim Soo-jeong, Oh Jung-se, Jeon Yeo-bin, and Jung Soo-jeong were able to “unleash their talents to the fullest, almost to the point of insanity,” and “Spider’s Nest” was a time for him to relive the euphoria he felt on set 20 years ago.
“We spent a lot of time in a small gazebo in front of the set drinking coffee, and when all the actors were so excited and talking about their performances, I personally felt the same sense of density and quality that I felt 20 years ago when I was working on ‘King of Foul Play’ or ‘A Quiet Family,’ or when I was working on ‘Memories of Murder,'” Song Kang-ho recalls.
A scene from the movie ‘The Spider’s Nest’. Photo Cannes Film Festival
A scene from the movie ‘Spider House’. Photo Cannes Film Festival
The pandemic of the past few years has forced him to rethink the original question of why he makes films and why he directs, says Kim Ji-woon, “When I stripped away all the layers and went to the center of it, all that was left was the love of cinema.”
While searching for a reason to continue his love for cinema, in “Spider House,” Kim encountered his own face superimposed on the face of actor Song Kang-ho.
“As I was watching the camera move closer and closer to Song Kang-ho’s face, I realized that he was looking at me. I think I had a strange experience that I had never felt before.”
Director Kim Ji-woon and actor Song Kang-ho will age together as one who directs, one who acts, and one who makes movies. Audiences will once again be thrillingly caught in the cinematic web they have woven over the past 25 years.