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A Well-Wrinkled Romance

2 minute read
Donald Macintyre

Even by the racy standards of South Korea’s red-hot movie industry, one of the many bedroom scenes in Too Young to Die was a tad risqu. A woman fondles a man and bends over him, initiating oral sex. After banning the movie, Korea’s censors relented last month on the condition director Park Jin Pyo obscure the scene by digitally turning down the lights. It wasn’t the act that scandalized Koreans, it was the actors. The stars of the movie are in their 70s, and in conservative Korea, nobody was ready to witness granny and grandpa having a romp. Koreans typically shunt the elderly aside instead of treating them like real people with real passions, says Park. But he insists he isn’t on a crusade. The director met the couple, Park Chu Gyu and Lee Sun Ye, while shooting a documentary film on the elderly. After losing their spouses, the couple had met by chance and became lovers. Touched by their story, director Park decided to turn it into a movie. And most of the time, he just let the cameras roll. (He left the room during the sex scenes.) “I just wanted to express the passionate love this couple found right at the end of their lives,” says Park. “It is just a story about a man and a woman.” Romance never gets old. Nor does prudery.

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