Harmonics Minyoung / Minyon Baion no Hosoku / ミンヨン 倍音の法則
Director Shoichiro Sasaki has had a long career working for NHK doing radio plays, dramas, docs and more poetic meditations on a raft of themes. Harmonics Minyoung is ostensibly about a young Korean woman coming to terms with something having to do with her family and her own history. The direction and writing are so muddled that the film amazes in its almost primitivist ineptitude. And this is from a veteran of Japan’s audio-visual industry! Min Young plays the eponymous title character, a Mozart otaku who manages to break into song after song after song, either singing along with Amadeus, butchering old American gospel and folk songs or the Korean anthem, Arirang. She grins her way annoyingly through any and all dramatic situation in low angle socialist realist close-ups. She befriends a homeless young bootblack (huh?) on the contemporary streets of Shibuya. About halfway through this epic-length slog, all the characters fall into a pre-war family drama that supposedly explains whatever unexplained issue that haunts our ever-positive heroine. By the end, who cares?
Originally published in EL Magazine, October 2014.