Director: Jo Bareun
Actor: Batjargal Balgan
Running Time: 14 minutes
Jo Bareun, director and screenwriter his previous film SURA: The Emperor’s Banquet, returned with Vibration. The film was funded by London Calling and Enable short film fund along with 40 bakers who supported the crowd-funding. It was premiered for a private screening at BFI Southbank on 2nd September last year followed by many appearances at film festivals including Seoul Independent Film Festival. The film will have its first premiere today at the London Short Film Festival. Recently, the director has announced that the film will be part of the official selection of British Short Film Festival, Berlin.
An elderly Chinese man finds out the secret while he mourns his wife’s death. He has concerns about faith in their marriage and is surprised to know about his wife’s world.
The script, written by Jo Bareun and Karina Jakubowicz, has a straightforward and mellow storyline. It builds up fully understanding the character nicely. The bits of comedy, such as the man massage his back and feet with the dildo vibrator, followed by sentimental drama fits their objective: ‘directing a thought provoking comedy that people will remember for a long time’. As the storyline progresses, all eyes are on the elderly man struggling to question why his wife hide the dildo vibrator from him. He throws his anger towards the dildo vibrator with intense but subtle facial expressions and hard-hitting actions, such as dumping it to the bin, drowning it in his fish tank, hitting it with a hammer and stepping on to it till the annoying sex toy stops. At the end of the film, he realises the wife’s need for arousal love and sex from him especially together in bed.
The continuous sounds of the dildo vibrator helps to build up the annoyance and anxiety towards the elderly man. These sounds made him angrily sad. The ending music, composed by Joss Albert, leaves mixed reactions on the elderly man. The elderly man may have sadness and regrets but he is emotionally happy that he can move on as he knows that his wife will be spiritually by his side. The overall feeling is clearly shown when he places two single beds together before he takes his wife’s belongings and leaves.
Cinematographer Song Minwoo takes both lighting and camera focuses into detail as these elements emphasis on the elderly man’s story and emotions. The balance of natural lighting, close-up shots on the elderly man’s face and long shots of elderly man’s daily life and walking along the scenic countryside view and town in Chippenham completes the whole focus in understanding the elderly man’s struggles, from finding out the truth to being emotionally frustrating to walking along the fields as he regrets but smiles and continue with his life without his wife.
Jo Bareun and his team take every little detail in making Vibration an unforgettable short film. It’s funny. It’s sentimental. It’s relatable as it impacts audiences’ thoughts about satisfaction and faith in marriage and relationship. The elderly man’s story shows everything in 14 minutes without leaving every aspect out from the film. It will stir the audience’s subtle emotions followed by having it stuck in their minds.