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Minwoo Song’s surreal short film Greeting In The Afternoon will be premiering at the New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, September 15, 2017!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 09/12/2017

Minwoo Song’s surreal short film Greeting In The Afternoon will be premiering at the New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, September 15, 2017!

Minwoo Song’s surreal short film Greeting In The Afternoon will be premiering at the New Jersey Film Festival this Friday, September 15, 2017!

Having just finished watching all 18 hours of David Lynch’s Twin Peak: The Return again, I realized that Greeting In The Afternoon -- a short 15 minute film by Minwoo Song, playing on the opening night of the Fall 2017 New Jersey Film Festival, -- was actually quite similar in mood and tone to the ghostly world featured in Lynch’s surreal TV series. 

In Greeting In The Afternoon we witness a young woman who is working at what seems to be an abandoned bowling alley in South Korea. The film begins with this quote from Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1938 novel Nausea: “They didn’t live in it: it unfolded in front of them. And we, do you think we lived inside it? In the end, it wasn’t anywhere, not on either side of the footlights, it didn’t exist.”  This quote perfectly sets up the film’s existential malaise. 

The first images we see are random shots of the bowling alley. After the title card we are introduced to the film’s protagonist – a beautiful young Korean woman. Then we see more random shots of bowling balls, shoes, chairs, and magazines.  The woman polishes the bowling balls and yawns as if bored until all of a sudden she spots an older man who looks to be about 60 years old and has popped up in an other part of the alley. He fiddles with a small knife, then sets it down and ponders his surroundings. In the next shot the young woman, holding a broom, faces off with the man at the doorway and then he disappears.  It is as if he was never really there. Was he a figment of her imagination? The ambient soundtrack, which features restrained guitar and piano, fits the woman’s lonely mood. She peers into the alley’s aquarium which is filled with goldfish, and then peers at us. I thought of the line from Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here song: “We are just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. Year after year” after I saw this.



 
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After a short while a second, older woman appears.  We see random close-up shots of coffee cups and a cigarette smoldering in an ash tray while the two women sit together but barely acknowledge each other’s presence. In a flash, the older woman disappears. 

The young woman then proceeds to wash the dishes and when all of a sudden a young man holding a cello appears as the next ghostly apparition. He begins to play a melancholy tune and then, like the others, he disappears. She is left alone pondering her surroundings once more.

This tight and mysterious short film mirrors the oneiric atmosphere found in many of the moments in Twin Peaks: The Return where nameless characters also pop in and out of the narrative. The ghostly apparitions in Greeting… also perhaps  mirror the notion that “hell is the other” in Sartre’s  No Exit, another famous existential work.  Greeting… is a simple film but is quite powerful and needs to be seen to be appreciated.  It was one of my favorite’s at this year’s Festival and I am sure David Lynch would approve of it as well. I highly recommend it and hope you’ll check it out this Friday.

Al Nigrin is the Executive Director/Curator of the New Jersey Film Festival.

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Greeting In The Afternoon will be playing with two other excellent films. Here is more info on this screening:

Hitchhiking with a .357 Magnum – Jeremy Bryant  (Beatty, Oregon)  Oregon. Summer 2015. Jeremy hitchhikes to his grandfather's funeral & back home. The trip spans 2 days and 420 miles. Jeremy hitchhikes with a .357 magnum. Will Jeremy make it to the funeral in time? And will people freak out about his gun? 2017; 10 min. With an introduction and Q+A session with Producers Thomas Francine and Dori Goikhman!  



 
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Greeting In The Afternoon Minwoo Song (Seoul, South Korea)  In this haunting, experimental film, a young woman who works at a bowling alley is visited by ghosts who pop in and out of her world. 2017; 15 min. 

Hello Hello Hello: Lee Ranaldo: Electric Trim – Fred Riedel and Jerry Fried  (New York, New York)  This documentary film is about the making of Lee Ranaldo's upcoming Mute records release. Hello Hello Hello : Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim.  It's an intimate and unique look at Lee's creative process as he collaborates with author/lyricist Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude), Sharon Van Etten, Nels Cline (Wilco), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Kid Millions (Oneida), and others in the making of a bold, new sound that is a lush and striking departure from Ranaldo's signature work. 2017, 76 min. With an introduction and Q+A session with Director Fred Riedel and Producer Jerry Fried!

Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482;
www.njfilmfest.com

Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick will be providing free food prior to this New Jersey Film Festival Screenings!

 




Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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