Back in Jeonju for the festival, lost count how many times now. The place burst from a small provincial college town I first saw in 1999, to a bustling busy city. Likewise the festival grew, not long ago underwent a palace revolution in which the original director and programming teams all got shoved out the door or left of their own accord. Two years ago one still felt the wobble, and personally, I felt the sudden rigid insistence of a DCP to show Coming to Terms. I asked that they not do this, but they held firm and I shelled out $700 to get one made, at their insistence shifting 29 fps to 24 fps, inducing the totally predictable motion crap changing frame rates will cause. This year they stuck with their DCP insistence and I went on-line and did it myself, with no means to check it out. Sent it off a bit doubtful, hastily at their insistence. They then didn’t look at it, and then having sat on it 2+ weeks, informed me there was a problem, though wasn’t too clear just what it might be. It did include that there was text in the middle of film, which, as it happens there is.
I offered to try again, though cautioning that as I have no means to check the package, I had no real reason to believe another go round would result in a proper one. I did in fact render all the big files needed to do so but just a few days before leaving got word all was OK, and don’t bother making a new one. So I stopped. And then, on day of departure got an urgent request to bring new DCP! Which I couldn’t.
Yesterday they screened the film, to a decently sized audience. I did not stay to watch as somehow I knew carnage was in the works, and indeed, arriving for the post-screening Q&A, a friend of mine was exiting and told me the projection was a total unwatchable mess.
Requested a few opening words, I explained the whole deal, and informed the audience they had not seen my film, but rather the result of a totally unnecessary and wrong-headed policy. Strangely though many had clearly liked the film, despite the butchered version on offer and we had a long discussion. I gave the URL and password to the audience so they could go on line and see what I’d actually made.
To compensate for this unhappy bit I went to see a former student of mine at Yonsei University, LEE Sangwoo, who had a film on that surely cost many multiples of my most costly. It was, like him, a weird, vulgar, aggressive and really well made film titled SPEED.
Today, after a not so wonderful exchange with the projection people, they let me know they would do tomorrow’s screening with the H264 file I’d included with the DCP, just in case….
Unless there’s a real juicy enticement to bring me back, I think this is last time around for me to Jeonju. And maybe the last time around making these kinds of films. I kinda feel like the character up top after 52 years of this….