Downloadable Video - 2018
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Hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year, BURNING is a searing romantic thriller about a young man whose suspicions spin out of control when the free-spirited woman he loves disappears.
Publisher: [United States] : Well Go USA, 2018
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 148 min.)) : sd., col
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From the critics

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May 12, 2019

The movie started as a romantic film, but later on it became a thriller with the disappearance of the girl. The story was rather slow and boring with an shocking ending.

lotuslori_8 May 08, 2019

I found the first half of the movie slow moving and a bit boring, but in the second half when all the pieces began to come together, it became much more interesting.

May 05, 2019

Saw the trailer and felt the comments indicated a very good film. And it was---but 2.5 hrs???


Apr 22, 2019

I appreciate the comments from last viewer because he mentioned the movie has subtitles. I hate them and will not watch any movie that has them. If I want to read a movie I will check out the book and read it. Most movies do not warn you as this one didn't so thank you viewer for the heads up.

Apr 19, 2019

This is a BORING movie. I do not mind slow burns, but this was a whole lot of nothing to get to the dramatic conclusion. It was way too long as well. Don't trust the hype where this movie is concerned. Cinematography and good acting could not save this mediocre story for me, which was disappointing since I had to wait quite a while to see it and had been looking forward to it.

Mar 24, 2019

I highly recommend Burning, but it's not for everyone. Subtitles aside, it's not a straightforward murder mystery. Oh, there's murder, almost all off screen, and when one is shown at the end of the movie it is shocking. But Burning is more a psychological drama, and needs complete attention to understand the story. If you like films like Gone Girl, Michael Haneke's Caché, or the books of Barbara Vine, you'll enjoy.

Mar 23, 2019

A very fine story of jealousy, lies, classism. A young man who wishes he could become a writer of novels, finds himself in one better than he could write. Maybe it's true that the bigger the lie, the more some will believe you. Perhaps this is the kind of film Hitchcock would have made if he had not been controlled so much by Hollywood formulation.

Mar 23, 2019

After a chance encounter on a busy street reunites them, fledgling author Jongsu and his childhood friend Haemi have a lukewarm one-night stand. But when Haemi returns from a trip to Africa with new boyfriend Ben in tow a smouldering jealousy takes hold, for the handsome, wealthy Ben is everything the plain, dumpy Jongsu only wishes he could be. However, a freaky confession and bizarre turn of events soon have Jongsu convinced that something sinister is lurking behind Ben’s affable smile… Social commentary on Korea’s nouveau riche takes a backseat in Chang-dong Lee’s slow-burning psychodrama which borrows a few cues from Hitchcock as it casually applies the thumbscrews right up until that final incendiary climax. But the director adds a few twists of his own to this tale of a writer determined to solve a mystery when he can’t even keep his own characters and storylines straight. Look for a couple of wry cameos from Donald Trump and Schrödinger’s cat.

Mar 18, 2019

A slow burn social thriller about youths from near opposite ends of South Korean society. In my views, the title was a metaphor of an extreme act and the "greenhouses" was polysemous of girls like Haemi. (Ref. William Faulkner in "Quotes".)

Blurb from back of the DVD box:

BURNING is the searing examination of an alienated young man, Jongsu (Ah-in YOO), a frustrated introvert whose already difficult life is complicated by the appearance of two people into his orbit: first, Haemi (newcomer Jong-seo JUN), a spirited woman who offers romantic possibility, and then, Ben (Steven Yeun, THE WALKING DEAD, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU), a wealthy and sophisticated young man she returns from a trip with. When Jongsu learns of Ben’s mysterious hobby and Haemi suddenly disappears, his confusion and obsessions begin to mount, culminating in a stunning finale.

Mar 06, 2019

it is refreshing to see this 2018 korean film by chang-dong lee, who explores minimalism in film-making that few directors dared in recent years. the film has sparse & brief dialogs, calculated & scanty scenes & plots, subdued & background-like music, & silent visual clues (instead of loud explanatory hints) to tell a story of ever deepening mystery & mystique. the audience has to feel/sense from what lee has skillfully & objectively presented (like a legal disposition) in order to arrive at its own conclusion (if any, assuming it's a logical expectation after watching a movie).
lee deliberately creates a film that involves what might be real, semi-real or pure imagination. he quietly brings up the story's social/political context, as real as today or yesterday's events (or is it figuratively unreal [unbelievable] ?). these include mentioning of the nearby north korea border (historical, seemingly never ending conflict), tv interview on unemployment of korean youths (happening now in flourishing south korea economy?), & tv news commentary on president trump (oddball & least democratic president in the world's leading democratic country?).
lee depicts 3 incredible characters whom some might describe as unreal (figurative) in today's world. if i may use my own words, the 1st lead male character (J-S) is a dull-looking, clueless & shy loner who lacks ambition (wanting to be a writer might be his excuse). the main female character (H-M) is a modern day hippie (w/o the classic costume or demeanor) who is care-free, spiritually-minded & openly as imaginative as mime. the 2nd male dude (B) is a handsome & rich young playboy. all 3 dont hold any real tangible job & not bothered by it.
the film gradually reveals several developing mysteries related to each of the 3 characters, but withholding explanation of what & why. basically the audience is led to believe that J-S is obsessed w/ H-M, jealous of B, & finally succumb to the apparently unexplained vanish of H-M. in the end J-S is so pressurized w/ frustration & illusion/delusion that he acts out a fatal solution (analogous to his dad's "bottled up in his own anger & one day exploded like a bomb"?). the unexpected ending is dramatic & contrary to the film's somewhat gently, poetic & having-a-good-time atmosphere. but are all these really (figuratively) real (factual), semi-real (subjectively) or mime-like imagination? in this film does lee actually create a mime game or delusional dream to the audience?
remember michaelangelo antonioni's "blow-up" (1966)? its social context is pop music, drugs, & fashion models in the swinging london (no politics here). its story is about a successful photog (not jobless) stumbled upon a mysterious dead body in a park, who then is obsessed w/ seeking the truth using his photo skills. antonioni ignites as much mystery & uncertainty between real & unreal as in "burning". but its ending has no conclusion/interpretation necessary, just play along w/ a tennis game using an imagined ball (mime again?). to me, "blow-up" depicts the inquisitive mind of an image-dominant professional in a surrounding of debatable reality (aka make-believe: factual or figurative, camera or pop scene). "burning" shows the clueless & skewed mind of a loner that has gone delusional in his surrounding of random yet persuasive non-reality (socially or personally). dont u think antonioni (italian) prefers a zen-like ending, lee (korean) a shakespearean ending? really? what's the odd of that? :)


Add a Quote
Mar 18, 2019

(Excerpt from story: As I mentioned, when I first met her she told me she was studying mime. One night, we were out at a bar, and she showed me the Tangerine Peeling. As the name says, it involves peeling a tangerine. On her left was a bowl piled high with tangerines; on her right, a bowl for the peels. At least that was the idea...)
It's me, Shin Hae-mi! I had plastic surgery. I got pretty, right?
Your cat's name is Boil?
-Yes, Boil. I found him abandoned in the basement boiler room. He hides and doesn't come out if there's a stranger here. He has severe autism.
This room faces North, so it's always chilly and dark. It gets sunlight only once a day. From over there. The sunlight hits the Seoul Tower window and bounces into my room. It's only for a brief moment. You have to be lucky to see it.

Mar 18, 2019

Little Hunger is a person who is literally hungry. Great Hunger is a person who is hungry for the meaning of life.
Recent figures prove the severity of our country's youth unemployment. It is growing at the fastest rate among OECD member countries.
So, what kind of novel do you want to write?
-I'm not sure yet...
How about writing about your father? In my opinion, he's like a protagonist in a story. Look at his life! It's so turbulent! He was nuts back in the day. Aren't all protagonists nuts? He was number one in Paju High. Not for his grades, but for his pride. After he returned from working in the Middle East, I told him to buy an apartment building in Gangnam with the money he earned. I promised he wouldn't regret it. But he didn't, because of his pride. Instead, he returned to Paju and became a livestock farmer, and now he's broke and in jail.

Mar 18, 2019

I joined the Sunset Tour on my way to the Kalahari Desert. It's a program that shows you the sunset of the desert. But it turned out to be a parking lot. There was nothing but trash tourists left behind. Everybody came with someone, but I was the only one by myself. I really felt all alone there. I wondered why I was even there, all alone. Then the sun started to set. The sun was setting beyond the endless sand-covered horizon. At first it was orange. Then it turned blood red. Then purple, then navy. It got darker and darker as the sunset disappeared, and my eyes suddenly welled up with tears. "I must be at the end of the world." That's what I thought. "I want to vanish just like that sunset." Dying is too scary, but... I wished I could disappear as if I had never existed.

Mar 18, 2019

It's fascinating to see people cry.
Why? shed a single tear in my life. I suppose I did when I was really little, but I can't remember ever shedding a tear.
-That is fascinating. But you do feel sadness, don't you?
Maybe. I'm not sure. But since I've never shed a single tear, I'm not sure if it was real sadness that I felt.
-May I ask what you do for a living?
Well, I do this and that. You wouldn't understand even if I told you, but to put it simply, I play.
-You play?
Yes. Nowadays, there is no distinction between working and playing. May I ask who your favorite writer is?
-William Faulkner.
Oh, Faulkner. When I read his work, I feel like I'm reading about myself.
(Notes: William Faulkner, a major American twentieth-century author, wrote historical novels portraying the decline and decay of the upper crust of Southern society.)

Mar 18, 2019

How does he live like that at his age? Traveling abroad, driving a Porsche, listening to music while cooking pasta...
-I guess he's young and rich. He's the Great Gatsby.
What do you mean?
-Mysterious people who are young and rich but you don't know what they really do. There are so many Gatsbys in Korea.
Why do you think he's seeing you? Have you ever think about that?
-He said he likes people like me. He thinks I'm interesting.
There's something in your heart. A stone. The stone is making you suffer. That's why you can't fully enjoy things. That's why you can't appreciate tasty food, or tell a guy you like that you like him. You need to remove the stone.
Good to see you again, Jong-su. Hae-mi wanted to see you.
-No, Ben kept asking me to call you.

Mar 18, 2019

I have a hobby of burning greenhouses. I choose an abandoned greenhouse and set it on fire.
-Once every two months?
I think that's the best pace for me.
In Korea, there are tons of greenhouses. Useless, filthy, unpleasant-looking
greenhouses. It's like they're all waiting for me to burn them down. And as I watch them burn to the ground, I feel great joy. Then I feel... I feel a bass sound right here. A bass that rings to my very bone.
-And you judge whether or not they're useless?
I don't judge anything. I just accept it. I accept that they're waiting to be burnt down. It's like rain. Rain falls. The river overflows, causing a flood that sweeps people away. You think the rain judges anything? There is no right or wrong there, just the morals of nature. The morals of nature are like simultaneous existence.
-"Simultaneous existence"?
I'm here, and I'm there. I'm in Paju, and I'm in Banpo. I'm in Seoul, and I'm in Africa. Something like that. That kind of balance.

Mar 18, 2019

Maybe you missed it because it was too close.
-I don't think so.
How strange. Sometimes you can't see things that are too close to you.
It's difficult for women. They complain if you wear makeup, and complain if you don't. They complain if you wear revealing clothes, and complain if you dress casually. Have you heard of the saying, "There's no country for women"?
Can you work nights and after hours?
- Yes, sir.
Where do you live, number two?
--Bucheon, sir.
How are you going to commute from Bucheon? It takes 2 hours.
--No problem, sir. I can...
It's disappointing that my old house is gone. It used to be right over there. Now it's gone without a trace. And the well is gone too.

Mar 18, 2019

You're too serious. It's no fun being serious. Enjoy yourself. You need to feel the bass right here. You need to feel it ring from your bones.
You know how stores hand them out in the streets. but our duty-free store gives them out only if you buy expensive items. I tell them loud and clear, "Meiyou. No samples. Meiyou." But they just stand there and go, "You! You!" "You have them! Give them to me!"
The Chinese are similar to the Americans. We think they're like us because of the Confucius culture.
-How are they similar?
They're both gigantic geographically.
-That's true.
They always place themselves at their center, whereas we're always conscious of others.
If only I had been younger, I'd have sold my organs.
She cried for hours down at the bottom of the well. Crying and looking up, just staring up at the round sky, waiting for someone to find her.


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