쎄시봉 (C’est Si Bon)

A Nogunri Pictures Production
Distribution: CJ E&M
Rating: 15 and Over
Genre: Romantic Drama
Running Time: 123 Min
Shooting Time: 2014/May/11~Aug/12 (53 Dates)
Release: 2015/Feb/05

WITH 정우 (Jung Woo) as Oh Geun-Tae (60s); 김윤석 (Kim Yoon-Seok) as Oh Geun-Tae (90s); 한효주 (Han Hyo-Joo) as Min Ja-Young (60s); 김희애 (Kim Hee-Ae) as Min Ja-Young (90s); 진구 (Jin Gu) as Lee Jang-Hee (60s); 장현성 (Jang Hyun-Sung) as Lee Jang-Hee (90s); 조복래 (Jo Bok-Rae) as Song Chang-Shik; 강하늘 (Kang Ha-Neul) as Yoon Hyeong-Joo; 권해효 (Kwon Hae-Hyo) as Director Kim; 최규환 (Choi Gyu-Hwan) as Mister Lee; 이지훈 (Lee Ji-Hoon) as MC Lee; 이미소 (Lee Mi-So) as Ran; 이대연 (Lee Dae-Yeon) as Geun-Tae's Father; 김미경 (Kim Mi-Gyeong) as Geun-Tae's Mother; 김인권 (Kim In-Kwon) as Jo Young-Nam; 김재욱 (Kim Jae-Wook) as Kang Myeong-Chan;

CREW Director 김현석 (Kim Hyeon-Seok) Executive Producer 강명찬 (Kang Myeong-Chan) 이우정 (Lee Woo-Jeong) | Screenplay 김현석 (Kim Hyeon-Seok) | Director of Photography 이모개 (Lee Mo-Gae) Lighting 이성환 (Lee Seong-Hwan) Editor 김재범 (Kim Jae-Beom) 김상범 (Kim Sang-Beom) Music 이병훈 (Lee Byung-Hoon) Art Direction 김준 (Kim Joon) 최연식 (Choi Yeon-Shik) Costumes 채경화 (Chae Gyeong-Hwa) Action Choreography 유상섭 (Yoo Sang-Seop) 박상현 (Park Sang-Hyeon) | Assistant Director 권희철 (Kwon Hee-Cheol)

KOFIC Nationwide
TOTAL REVENUE: 13,332,146,711 Won
BUDGET: 6,500,000,000 Won

Photo ⓒ Nogunri Pictures, CJ E&M


In the late 1960s, ‘C’est Si Bon’ is the music bar where every acoustic band’s dream lies, and Korea’s leading folksongs were born. It is where Geun-tae, the naïve country boy met the young musical prodigies Hyung-joo and Chang-sik, and formed the band named after it – the C’est Si Bon Trio. As the three young artists bicker over their music, beautiful socialite Ja-young enters the picture and becomes their muse, and a series of moving love songs come from it. Geun-tae’s pure-heartedness wins Ja-young over but when she accepts a once-in-lifetime opportunity for a shot at an acting career, they part ways. After 20 years, the untold story of their love, song, and youth at ‘C’est Si Bon’ is finally brought to light. [KoBiz]


I see this 60-70s revival trend that is sweeping Chungmuro these days in a bit of an ironic light: more than evoking nostalgia for an era long gone by and trying to expand the demographic scope of the filmgoing audience, I keep reflecting on how eerily similar modern Korea is getting thanks to its current ruling elite. But politics aside, you'd expect someone like Kim Hyeon-Seok (whose track record shows he can do a lot more than artless project films) to find some kind of artistic identity amidst this onslaught of nostalgic copycats. Even with what on paper looked to be nothing more than an empty nostalgia trip full of hot gimmicks.

The central premise was intriguing, at least: iconic folk duo Twin Folio was actually a trio, before Lee Ik-Gyun had to leave for his mandatory military service – and pave the way for fellow members Yoon Hyeong-Joo and particularly Song Chang-Shik to launch successful solo careers. The film puts the spotlight on this third member (changing his name to a fictional Oh Geun-Tae), and uses cult music lounge C'est Si Bon as their headquarters. The idea of featuring folk icons of the 60s like Yoon Hyeong-Joo, Song Chang-Shik, Jo Young-Nam and Lee Jang-Hee as salad dressing to yet another “Yushin melodrama” is not that bad a concept (if you're willing to ignore how tired the formula is), but there is a huge problem in this case: when the dressing is better than everything else, your meal is not likely to satisfy you.

As good as Jung Woo is, he has very little chemistry with Han Hyo-Joo, and it's not even their fault: everything surrounding them, from the C'est Si Bon lounge trying to survive amidst the rise of beer halls like OB's Cabin (Kwon Hae-Hyo quietly steals the show as the lounge's owner) to Song Chang-Shik and Yoon Hyeong-Joo's little musical rivalry is consistently more compelling than anything the two ill-fated lovers end up doing, so you're always feeling as if you're getting second best. It doesn't help that the third arc spends an inordinate amount of time in the 1990s wasting huge names (Kim Yoon-Seok, Kim Hee-Ae, Jang Hyun-Sung) on a painfully insipid game of romantic hide and seek.

Kim started hot as a director with two minor home runs like YMCA 야구단 (YMCA Baseball Team) and 광식이 동생 광태 (When Love Meets Destiny), and did a respectable job a few years later in one of Im Chang-Jung's annual, bittersweet “loser wins the girl” romcoms, 스카우트 (Scout). But as with 시라노 연애 조작단 (Cyrano Dating Agency), he seems to have been tamed by the corporate machine a lot more than you'd want him to. His touch has lost incisiveness, that tiny bit of irreverence that made his early (quintessentially commercial but still eclectic enough not to feel like project) films so charming.

As he's always been a huge baseball junkie, the best comparison would be a once great pitcher slowly turning into a balding, overweight shell of his former self, throwing insipid fastballs. Not too "bon," if you ask me.


76 권해효 (Kwon Hae-Hyo)
76 정우 (Jung Woo)
75 김윤석 (Kim Yoon-Seok)
75 김희애 (Kim Hee-Ae)
75 장현성 (Jang Hyun-Sung)
70 이대연 (Lee Dae-Yeon)
69 진구 (Jin Gu)
67 조복래 (Jo Bok-Rae)
65 김미경 (Kim Mi-Gyeong)
64 이지훈 (Lee Ji-Hoon)
63 최규환 (Choi Gyu-Hwan)
62 김인권 (Kim In-Kwon)
60 한효주 (Han Hyo-Joo)
60 이미소 (Lee Mi-So)
60 김재욱 (Kim Jae-Wook)
59 강하늘 (Kang Ha-Neul)

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