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I think it was actually based on s short story - only with a twist, and a suggested happy ending. much more melodramatic in this way, of course, but that is only to be expected from Korean cinematographic romances.
Funny portrayal of a Korean culture from the '60s (it's not clear what time it takes place, or how old the lead is). The cinematography is awful, the acting, except from the leads, is poor. The direction is well-done and subtle (except for some over-the-top attempts at humor), but the story follows a formula with some cliches and predictability.
Not a bad film, but expectations are extremely high for Do-yeon Jeon, and she disappoints; all the characters in the film are cliché.
<a href='http://sitenoise-atthemovies.blogspot.com/2008/08/harmonium-in-my-memory-nae-maeumui.html' target='_blank'>sitenoise at the movies: The Harmonium in My Memory Review</a>
I love [url="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0161133/"]Do-yeon Jeon[/url] and what I love about her is that she always appears completely genuine in performance. In this film, however, her every move is riddled with [i]acting[/i]. It's hardly her fault as she is given the mighty task of portraying a fifth-grade girl. What is that? Ten years old? Eleven? Her character could be seventeen for all I know, given the poverty and functional illiteracy of her community, but she's still a fifth-grader. All the self-conscious insecurities and pouting of a girl that agenot to mention a girl that age whose day to day life is overwhelmed by a mad crush on her new twenty-one year old school teacherall the mannerisms are forced. But enough about that. No use crying over spilled milk, or, thank god in this case, unrequited love.
[i]The Harmonium in My Memory[/i] is a sweet little nostalgia film set in rural South Korea sometime after the war around 1960, give or take, centering on the teachers and students at a community school. Many of the students can't afford basic school supplies, are often rowdy in class and prove to be quite a handful for the rookie teacher played wonderfully by [url="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0496932/"]Byung-hun Lee[/url] ([url="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0456912/"]A Bittersweet Life[/url]; [url="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0260991/"]Joint Security Area[/url]). It's the youthful idealism of Lee's character who wants to treat the students with respect and tolerance set against the older teachers' old-school values of beating and discipline that serves as the film's basic theme. The other likeable character in the film, played by [url="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0497870/"]Mi-yeon Lee[/url], is another young teacher who takes her students outside to make noise and run off steam, much to the chagrin of her elders. She's Lee's love interest, and she and he share a passion for music, providing for many a musical moment in [i]The Harmonium in My Memory. [/i]"[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJJxvl3Dzd4"]Don't Break The Heart That Loves You[/url]", sung by Connie Francis, captures the torchy milieu of these characters perfectlyperhaps a little too easily.
[i]The Harmonium in My Memory [/i]isn't a bad film, but expectations are extremely high for [url="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0161133/"]Do-yeon Jeon[/url], and she disappoints; all the characters in the film are cliché; the use of dramatic music seems like a shortcut to emotions the characters aren't capable of making us feel; and the ending is manipulative, tacked on to make us get happy about a film that left us empty.
And what's the deal with kids bringing stool samples to class?
Very beautiful photography.
I guess it portrayed korea in the 40s or 50s,,,but I didn't like lee byung hun in the movie...
A charming drama about a student who has a crush on a teacher, who has a crush on another teacher. Can either party find a resolution to their troubles? Great acting by the leads which draws you in to the characters. There is a good balance of comedy and drama, which makes for a very satisfying film.
Ah. Such a beautiful film. If the Office Christmas Special made you cry, then this little tale of 'unrequited' love for a teacher (the best thing to come out of Korea ever i.e. Lee Byung-Hun, jeez if he was teaching at my school I'd probably even go) might be up your Korean sidestreet. Maybe a little cutesy for fans of his later more well known roles, but if the ending doesn't warm your cockles even slightly then you have no heart and you are horrid.
A love story about a teacher and a student... ring any bells IPC students? :p
Beautiful, touching movie about first love.