Director Lee Myeong-se has achieved auteur status through his ingenious use of colour, cinematography, and innovative technical prowess. His films are incredibly artistic in nature and often cross the boundaries between mainstream and art-house cinema. While other directors strive for greater realism, Lee Myeong-se posits, “What is film?” and plays with the artifice of the medium in exploring that concept. As such his films blur the lines between reality and fantasy and use these devices to tell the story, while the core narrative is often quite simple revolving around the purity of love.
Making his directorial debut in 1989 with Gagman (개그맨), it wasn’t until the release of police thriller Nowhere To Hide (인정사정 볼 것 없다) ten years later that Lee Myeong-se drew attention from western critics partly due to an association with the action films emerging from Hong Kong. His next film, Duelist (형사), also garnered attention due to the release of colourful period martial arts film from China at the time. While the association helped Lee Myeong-se to become a prominent figure, they are also unfair as his films are incredibly unique and visionary productions that amalgamate art and artifice, exploring film and love in a highly poetic manner.
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M (M (엠) – 2007
Duelist (형사) – 2005
Nowhere To Hide (인정사정 볼 것 없다) – 1999
Their Last Love Affair (지독한 사랑) – 1996
Bitter and Sweet (남자는 괴로워) – 1995
First Love (첫사랑) – 1993
My Love, My Bride (나의 사랑 나의 신부) – 1990
Gagman (개그맨) – 1989