You may define your own banner on the settings page.
FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
Dave Chua
Brandon Wee
Wong Lung Hsiang
Felix Cheong
Foong Ngai Hoe
Adrian Sim
Chris Khoo
O Thiam Chin
Lau Chee Nien
Ambient Noise
Sarhan Rashid
Ying Wuen
Ellery Ngiam
Toh Hai Leong
Toh Hai Leong, Auteur
Wong Kar Wai
The Seduction of Wong Kar Wai
Tsai Ming Liang
Lav Diaz
Mikio Naruse
Leslie Cheung
Jonathan Foo Interview
Chinese Ghosts
Assassins in Asian FIlms
Sex in Asian Cinema
Erotic Cinema of the Shaw Studios
Homosexuality in Chinese Films
My Left Eye Sees Creativity
Hollywood Remakes
Comic Book Superheroes
One League of Social Consciousness
Emerging Trends in East Asian Cinema
Postwar Korean Cinema
Decline of Hong Kong Cinema before 1997
Rise of Afghan Films
Singapore's Mini Cinema
Creating A Singapore Cinema
Why Cinema is Important to Singapore
Singapore Film Industry
Rites of Passage
Replying to Critics
Daniel Yun Interview
Singapore International Film Festival
Bangkok International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Writer's Block
All Tomorrow's Parties
And Also the Eclipse
Another Heaven
At Five in the Afternoon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Bangkok Haunted
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Batang West Side
Battle Royale
Bear Hug
Beautiful Boxer
Beijing Rocks
Bend It Like Beckham
Best of Times
Betelnut Beauty
Big Durian
Big Shot's Funeral
Bird Man Tale
Blissfully Yours
Blue Kite
Bounce Ko Gals
Brighter Summer Day, A
Cafe Lumiere
Cat Returns
Chinese Odyssey 2002
City of Glass
City Sharks
Color of the Truth
Color Blossoms
Confucian Confusion
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark Water
Destination 9th Heaven
Divine Intervention
Double Vision
Dumlings: 3 Extremes
Enter the Phoenix
Era of Vampire, The
Eye, The
Eye 2, The
Eye 10, The
Fat Choy Spirit
Floating Weeds
Fog of War, The
Formula 17
Full Alert
Ghost in the Shell
God or Dog
Golden Chicken
Golden Chicken 2
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Guru, The
Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Harold and Kumar
Hidden Blade, The
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
House of Sand and Fog
Howl's Moving Castle
I Not Stupid
In the Mood for Love
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2
Iron Ladies 2
Isle, The
Jan Dara
Jealousy is My Middle Name
Joint Security Area
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
July Rhapsody
Korban Fitnah
Kung Fu Hustle
Lan Yu
Last Life in the Universe
Last Samurai, The
Legend of Zu, The
Liang Po Po
Love Letter
Lucky Number
Marry a Rich Man
Me Thao
Medallion, The
Monrak Transistor
Moveable Feast, A
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Musa the Warrior
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
My Neighbors The Yamadas
My Sassy Girl
Naked Weapon
Name of a River, The
New Police Story
Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows How to be a Film Critic
One Leg Kicking
Perfect Blue
Phone, The
Ping Pong
Pirated Copy
Princess D
River, The
Road Home
Romance of Book and Sword
Runaway Pistol
S Diary
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Scent of Green Papaya
Seoul Raiders
Seventeen Years
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai Knights
Shaolin Soccer
Singapore Gaga
Skywalk is Gone
So-Called Friends
So Close
Someone Special
Song of the Stork
Spider Forest
Spirited Away
Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Stories About Love
Storm Riders
Summer Holiday
Sumpah Pontianak
Super Size Me
Surprise Party
Swing Girls
Tale of Two Sisters, A
Tears of the Black Tiger
Teenage Textbook Movie
This Charming Girl
Three: Extremes
Tokyo Raiders
Touch, The
Tree, The
Truth or Dare
Twelve Storeys
Twenty-Four Eyes
Twins Effect
Twins Effect 2
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
Visitor Q
Volcano High
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Way Home, The
Welcome Back Mr McDonald
Wesley's Mysterious File
When I Fall In Love With Both
Wishing Stairs
Wolves Cry Under the Moon
Woman is the Future of Man
Women's Private Parts
World Without Thieves, A
Zombie Dog
A Time to Live A Time to Die
e-mail me

   Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors  


Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors

Reviewed by Adrian Sim

Korean Title: Oh! Soo-jung
Director: Hong Sang-soo
Writing Credits: Hong Sang-soo
Cast: Han Myeong-gu, Jeong Ho-bong, Lee Hwang-Ui, Kem Yong-dae, Lee Eun-ju
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2000
Runtime: 126 min
Rating: **** out of four stars (A masterwork)

My first Hong Sang Soo film proved to be a delightful surprise. Virgin is a wildly original comedy of errors with an unusual narrative structure. It is a strange brew of keenly observed specifics, sophisticated wit and sometimes wicked masochisis-ing of its female lead.

Those looking for a character-driven piece will be immensely disappointed. Hong is more concerned in ruminating on the quirks and details of a love relationship than the psyche of his protagonists.

Virgin is about the possibilities or impossibilities of love shot in gloriously dour black and white. Although some may find this to be frustrating, I think it lends a sophisticated and surrealistic feel to the whole affair. Some have even drawn parallels of Virgin to Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise because of its long static mise-en-scenes and subtly idiosyncratic humour. I will be checking out anytime Stranger soon.

Virgin is essentially composed of a string of memories belonging to the titular virgin, Soo- Jung (Lee Eun-Ju, Bungee Jumping Of Their Own), a sweet-looking television production assistant, of events leading up to her deflowerment.

For those uninitiated, the film does not contain explicit hardcore sex scenes that would normally entail a film with such a risqué title. In fact, there is more to say about its unconventional but oddly compelling structure than its otherwise awkward and clinically-shot sex scenes that do not seem to fit in well with Virgin’s playful tone.

The film is divided into 2 halves and each half is divided into numbered scenes (1 to 8) under deliberately quirky-sounding callcard sequences like "A Day’s Wait", "Perhaps Intention" and "Perhaps Accident".

The first half enacts one possibility of Soo-Jung blooming love affair with a suave art gallery owner (Jeong Bo-Seok) and the longer second half deals with a second possibility that might have led her to her eventual deflowerment.

Apart from a few gripes relating to the jarring sex scenes, I applaud Hong for his audacity in choosing to tell the story of Soo-Jung using an unconventionally fresh approach. I am definitely looking forward to his much anticipated On The Occasion Of Remembering The Turning Gate.