The Korea Herald


[Herald Review] Son Suk-ku’s 13-minute-long ‘Night Fishing’ a dynamic one-man show

Identifying as a ‘creator,’ Son participates as executive director

By Kim Da-sol

Published : June 12, 2024 - 15:02

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Son stars in “Night Fishing” (Hyundai Motor) Son stars in “Night Fishing” (Hyundai Motor)

South Korean actor Son Suk-ku’s upcoming film, “Night Fishing,” is a sci-fi thriller short with a running time of 12 minutes and 59 seconds. The number of cameras used for this short film is seven, all of which are built-in cameras integrated into an electric car.

The movie, which unfolds a story from the car’s point of view, revolves around an anonymous agent (Son) who is on a mission to track down an unidentified creature flying in the sky. As the sun sets, he lies in wait at a closed down gas station and makes an ambush attack as the creature approaches the gas station to steal an electric battery.

Son’s long-time friend, Cannes-winning director Moon Byung-gon, directed the film. Moon, with his short film, “Safe,” was awarded the Palme d’Or in the short film category at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival in 2019.

Son said he was able to enjoy the process of making this particular film fully. Son, who has directed his own omnibus indie film, “Unframed” (2021), participated as executive director this time.

“I didn't think taking part in the process of filmmaking was something I could do, due to my not-so-long experience (as a director). But as the film was a short, I was able to participate, and so I think I was lucky (to participate as executive director),” Son told reporters in the press conference following a movie screening at CGV Yongsan in Seoul on Tuesday.

Director Moon Byung-gon (left) and actor Son Suk-ku pose for a photo during a press conference held at CGV Yongsan, Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap) Director Moon Byung-gon (left) and actor Son Suk-ku pose for a photo during a press conference held at CGV Yongsan, Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Son said he was also persuaded by director Moon.

“Moon told me that he found night fishing similar to his alone time at night, when he pursues inspirations for fun stories. I thought he was a brilliant writer,” he added.

Since “Night Fishing” is a collaborative work between local carmaker Hyundai Motor and Son, some part of the movie was closer to a promotional video for its flagship EV model, Ioniq. But Son’s dynamic one-man show-like actions -- such as pulling the unidentified creature with a fishing pole -- were powerful enough to pull the audience into this very short movie.

The contrast between the story’s background -- set at inky dark night -- and the bright, luminous creature flying fast also offers a cinematic experience. The fact that it doesn’t include many lines came off as fresh as well.

So what was Son's motivation for making this 13-minute-long film? The movie is slated for theatrical release on June 14, but only for two weeks at CGV theaters. The ticket is priced at 1,000 won.

“I believe this film made in an unprecedented style can contribute to invigorating still sluggish local cinema. Because it’s something new for the audience, I think our movie explains why short or indie films should be screened at theaters, Son said.

“I want to continue to become a producer of content. …When you ask what kind of producer I am, I identify myself as a creator, but because I still lack a lot of experience, I see myself as a creator, which is an extension of my acting career,” he added.

Son’s “Night Fishing” hits local theaters on June 14. The movie has been invited to compete in the short film category at Canada's Fantasia International Film Festival, which kicks off on July 18.