Chihwaseon Reviews

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January 10, 2018
This South Korean film is one of the few authentic artist biopics ever created for the screen. It doesn't crudely guess at the source of the late 19th century painter Jang Seung-up's genius. It simply exhibits it.
May 15, 2007
In spite of these few moments of wonder, and even the dense, moving thematic content, the film ultimately doesn't leave a lasting taste.
December 30, 2006
December 6, 2005
August 8, 2004
[A]n elegant, painterly film...
June 25, 2004
The sturdy and goateed Choi Min-sik gives an extraordinary performance as the mercurial Ohwon whose moods fluctuate from sadness to rage, anguish, and depression.
January 9, 2004
For all its beauty and artistic ambition, the film remained stubbornly remote and soulless to me.
November 6, 2003
June 20, 2003
This Korean drama is a credible portrait of its main character, the revered 19th-century artist Oh Mon Jang Seung-up, and it looks beautiful enough to be a work of art itself.
June 20, 2003
Director Im Kwon-Taek steeps this film with reverence for Korean lore and history.
June 20, 2003
It is quietly observant, with a detached eye for the telling moment, and the visual compositions are often exquisite.
June 6, 2003
The problem is, painting isn't a spectator sport, as the interminable scenes of Jang at work continually confirm.
June 6, 2003
[Chihwaseon] rushes through the life of its subject in nimble leaps and bounds, concentrating on the livelier and more spectacular parts and avoiding the dull historical and biographical stretches.
June 5, 2003
Another masterpiece from one of the world's more neglected great directors, a master artist who here reveals the soul of another.
June 3, 2003
A fascinating, consummately crafted and ultimately moving study of a man who conforms surprisingly closely to western archetypes of the artist as rebel and hedonist.
May 30, 2003
It's one of the best films of an artist's life you'll ever see.
May 16, 2003
The movie's attention to anthropological and historical detail means things are slow to come alive. But once they do, the nature of Jang's psychic torture is palpable and unmistakable.
May 16, 2003
A vividly entertaining portrait.
May 14, 2003
The film's sexy romanticism and its tragic sense of Korean history will thrill even those who have never set foot in an art gallery.
May 13, 2003
["Chihwaseon"] explores the life of a brilliant artist virtually unknown in the West while effortlessly teaching us about a tumultuous period in Korea's past.
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