On the second, scorching hot film festival day in Udine, the audience enthusiastically welcomed the chilling screening of Forgotten (which available also on Netflix), the film that took us for a ride in more ways than one. Only a day later, still not over the tale that gave us all a good scare even though it was technically a thriller, we sat down with the screenwriter, actor and director Jang Hang-jun, who kindly and with an unexpected, humorous vigour answered a few of our questions.
We should start at the beginning – what was the inspiration for this story?
About two and a half years ago, during Christmas, I met my friends and one of them had a cousin who left home for a while, but when he came back he didn’t seem the same, my friend didn’t think it was really him. So, I told him that he should look closely at his ‘cousin’ to see if he was different; it was a joke but that’s how I originally got the idea for this story. While we were drinking and joking around, we kept adding to the story, we talked about how his cousin might have the same voice and face but that it wasn’t really him. Then I thought about how it would be better in a story to make him into the main character’s brother, rather than his cousin. We talked about that for two hours, and the next day I couldn’t stop thinking about it; I thought this would make a good story for a film and started to write, and finished the screenplay after a year.
It was amazing how you made us feel for Jin-seok, at first we loved him, then we were terrified and eventually, we hated him. How did you build his character as a writer?
When I was a high school student, I was very interested in psychology and I read a lot of books by Freud and other experts. So, I was familiar with this topic, but in preparation for this project, I met with a specialist, and we went drinking to talk about this story. We had a special team from the Scientific Research Institute help us out as well. That’s how I began to build the character, but once I cast Kang Ha-neul, we went through the script together and talked about his character’s different emotions one by one (…).
You can read the rest of this interview on View of Korean Cinema.
We would like to thank Jang Hang-jun for taking the time to answer our questions, and the Udine Far East Film Festival team for arranging the interview.
Written and edited by Sanja Struna (View of Korean Cinema)
Interview transcription by Roxy Simons (MyM Buzz)
Interviewed by Sanja Struna (View of Korean Cinema) and Roxy Simons (MyM Buzz)
Both ‘Forgotten’ photos © Netflix
Cover photo and screening photo © Sanja Struna