형사 Duelist

The Duelist

Korea | 2005 | 111min | Color | Drama

Program Note

Fifteen Years of Suffering


Lee Myung-se’s The Duelist is one of the most important films in my life. I began writing a book about it 15 years ago. Given the length of my writing so far, it’s safe to say that I’ve spent a large part of my life thinking about it. Before, I used to believe my work as a music director was simply a job, and that film had nothing to do with philosophical thoughts. 


The Duelist made me realize that cinematic awareness could provide a basis for the kind of philosophical perception that could not be achieved through reading. The film does not have a clear theme per se. Nor does it have gripping drama. It gets zero points in terms of storytelling. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of people profess to be fanatics of the film. It’s not the film’s storytelling or cast that got so many people hooked on it. Rather, the film offers a completely new cinematic experience.


Watching the movements and images in the film, you suddenly feel somewhat healed and liberated. This is different from catharsis. Rather, you detect a movement of decentration away from things that drag you down—or, some kind of obsessions. Director Lee Myung-se is keenly conscious of this power of perception. I feel a sense of duty as a scholar to explain the philosophical values of his perception, which is the reason why I’ve been suffering for 15 years. (CHO Sung-woo)

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이명세 감독은 서울예전 영화과를 졸업하고 1979년 이장호 감독의 연출부로 영화계에 입문했다. 이후 김수용, 홍파, 김정일, 배창호 감독 등의 영화에서 조감독을 맡았으며 1988년 영화 <개그맨>으로 감독 데뷔했다. <개그맨>은 영화평론가 토니 레인즈로부터 "영화사상 가장 독특한 데뷔작의 하나"라는 평가를 듣는 등, 국내보다 해외에서 더 인정받았다. 순간의 감정과 상황에 과장을 덧칠해, 영상으로 표현해내는 능력이 탁월한 감독이다. 의심할 여지없는, 한국 최고의 스타일리스트. <인정사정 볼 것 없다>(1999), <형사 Duelist>(2005), < M >(2007)을 연출 하였다.

: 강동원, 안성기, 하지원
: 이해경, 이명세
: 황기석
: 고임표
: 조성우
: 박준오