Prince Yeonsan (Yeonsan-gun)
Dir: Shin Sang-ok
Scr: Lim Hee-jae
Phos: Bea Sung-hak, Jeong Hae-jun
Eds: Kim Young-hee, Yang Seong-ran
Music: Jeong Yoon-joo
Prod Co: Shin Films
Cast: Shin Young-kyun, Shin Sung-il, Kim Dong-won
1961 / South Korea / Colour / 35mm / Korean / Eng subtitles / 133min
The director of Prince Yeonsan didn't like the film. Shin Sang-ok once declared that he would burn the film's original negatives if he had the chance. But when really given the chance, he trimmed it instead, removing 14 minutes.
Prince Yeonsan, reputedly crowned "Hamlet of Korea" by foreign critics, is the story of a young prince who wants to restore the honor of his mother, the Queen, who has been killed by the orders of the King - the prince's father. His efforts blunted, the title character is haunted by his failure to comfort the mother's spirit. He goes wild...
Shin didn't like the film because it was made in haste, under the pressure to meet a New Year release date. "The film was the first historical drama that placed the characterization of its many personalities at its forefront," he said. "But for me, the film left much to be desired." When the film turned out to be a hit, he was pressured yet again - to make a sequel, Tyrant Yeonsan (1962), which he hated perhaps even more, cutting 54 minutes from it years later.
The Restoration of the film was made by the Korean Film Archive in collaboration with the Hfr-Lab, involving removal of scratches and dust as well as color grading. In honor of Shin's wishes, the restoration was based on the 133-minute version re-edited by the director.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
* Post-screening talk with Longtin Shum
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