Part of this may be due to the inherent pessimism in the work, and its portrayal of a town where life is bleak and unlikely to improve.Yet on a cinematic level too, one wishes that there were just a bit more substance to the film.It may seem superfluous to say this after 3-Iron, but Jae really can communicate a great deal to the viewer even when he is not speaking.
The Art of Fighting is well acted and capably put together, with a mostly predictable but engrossing narrative.
Yet the film leaves you with an odd sense of emptiness.
Hong Sang-soo was widely praised for his seventh film Woman on the Beach; The Host won over critical praise to go with its commercial success; and the 11th Pusan International Film Festival boasted a large number of independent films that stirred up excitement among critics.
A number of films shot in a more commercial vein, such as gangster movie A Dirty Carnival, debut film Like a Virgin, drama Family Ties and even the crazy low-budget comedy My Scary Girl earned high praise as well.
Here he plays this role with a mixture of world-weary passivity and sudden, electric bursts of violence.
Although lacking the depth of the other roles he has played in the past few years, Pan-su possesses an attitude that is uniquely Baek Yoon-shik.
Compensating for this lack of regular camaraderie, Eun-hye has also created an imaginary friend.
Eun-hye is played by a girl (Jeong Eun-hye) with actual Down's syndrome and some of her own experiences were brought into the short.
Through the swatches of her life we see her isolation from her peers and her single mother's (Seo Ju-hee of Flower Island) struggle to make up for the evil that kids do.