SEOUL, Mar. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Young moviegoers in South Korea are opting for movies that center around everyday life over Hollywood blockbusters, as a growing emphasis on finding small pleasures in life sweeps across younger generations.
American film ‘Paterson’, which documents the ups and downs in the daily life of a young man named Paterson in the space of a week, became a minor hit when it was released last December in South Korea. And a number of South Korean films are seeking to follow up the success of the movie.
‘Little Forest’, directed by Yim Soon-rye, centers around the life of Hye-won, who moves to the country for a quieter life after feeling tired of the city life in Seoul. Though Hye-won originally planned to stay in the country for a short period of time, she farms and cooks for her old friends, and ends up spending four seasons in a rural area. The experience gives her a new perspective on life.
Another South Korean film, Microhabitat, which is set to hit cinema screens on the 22th, features the female protagonist Mi-so whose life represents many other young people in the country. Working as a housekeeper for a daily wage of 45,000 won, Mi-so continues to stay in the city despite all of the difficulties, unlike Hye-won, and tries to find her own source of happiness.
Having been forced out of her room due to rising rent, Mi-so takes shelter in a number of different places including a factory and a boyfriend’s dormitory, and the movie captures her adventures as she juggles between work and life.
These movies represent the latest trend among young South Koreans of finding ‘small but reliable sources of happiness’, which has impacted a number of sectors including the food and retail industries.
According to data from cinema chain CGV’s research center, nearly half of the viewers of Little Forest were in their 20s. The figure speaks volumes as South Korean moviegoers in their 20s are among the least satisfied by action and crime movies.
“To measure how healthy a film industry is, you need to look at the number of new directors there, as well as how many successful low-budget movies there are,” said movie critic Kim I-seok.