(Korean Movies) The Book of Fish, 2019

The Book of Fish, 2019

The Book of Fish, 2019
period drama
Audience over 12 years old
running time
126 minutes
cumulative audience
342540 people
20th Florence Korean Film Festival 2022


“This yangban is a treason, so don’t think about doing it too well.”
‘Jeongyakjeon’ was exiled to Heuksando, the end of the world due to the persecution of Shinyu in the first year of King Sunjo.
Curious 'Jeong Yak-jeon' is fascinated by sea creatures there and decides to write a book.
He asks for help from a young fisherman named Changdae, who knows the sea well.
'The Changdae' refuses to say that it cannot help the sinner.

“Let’s exchange what I know with your knowledge of fish.”
'Jeong Yak-jeon' learns that 'Changdae' is having a hard time studying writing alone.
Offer to trade each other's knowledge
When it comes to trading, the 'Changdae' pretends not to win.
The two are fighting each other, but gradually become each other's teachers and friends.

“Do you want to study and become successful?”
Then, when 'Jeong Yak-jeon' finds out that 'Changdae' has been studying hard to succeed, 'Jeong Yak-jeon' is greatly disappointed.
Realizing that 'Changdae' is also different from 'Jeongyakjeon',
He decides to leave the side of 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and go out into the world…

[ topic ]

<The Apostle>, <Dong-ju>, <Park Yeol> Director Lee Jun-ik
A master of period dramas that focus on the stories of people in history
In 2021, heralding the birth of a masterpiece that will deliver deep resonance
Directed by Lee Jun-ik is <Sado>, an authentic historical drama dealing with the most tragic family history in Joseon Dynasty history; Through his previous works, such as <Park Yeol>, which depicts the intense life of independence fighters Park Yeol and Kaneko Fumiko, who followed their ideology without compromise, he has shown his meticulous directing skills by capturing a loving gaze towards people. Director Lee Jun-ik, who has focused on 'people' rather than 'events' to make a deeper understanding of historical figures, as well as discovering values that penetrate to the present day, is scheduled to meet with the audience in 2021 with the movie 'Jasan Eobo'.

Director Jun-ik Lee directed <Jasaneobo> with the intention of showing traces of people who would have struggled and lived in that era, unlike ordinary historical dramas that use historical events as the driving force of the story, such as war or political history. He illuminates 'Jeong Yak-jeon', a scholar of the Joseon Dynasty, and at the same time discovers a new person named 'Changdae' appearing in the preface of [Jasaneobo], and at the same time tells the story through the relationship between the two. “If there is a great man in an era, he is not alone. There is a great person beside him.” Director Lee Jun-ik will once again convey a deep resonance in the hearts of the audience with his insight penetrating the characters through the times.

Seol Kyung-gu X Byun Yo-han with excellent acting skills that you can trust and see
Perfect synergy presented by Korea's representative actors
Fill the screen with impeccable hot performances
<Jasaneobo> was completed with the collaboration of Korea's leading actors, including Seol Kyung-gu, who shows irreplaceable acting skills in every work, and Byun Yo-han, who returned to the screen after 4 years.

Seol Kyung-gu, who has performed overwhelmingly regardless of genre in films such as <Haeundae>, <Watchers>, <Wish>, <Rogues: The World of Bad Guys>, and <Memoir of a Murderer>, will play the role of ‘Jeong Yak-jeon’ in <Jasan Eobo>. He takes on the challenge of his first historical drama film. He said, "I thought it was more important to feel the world as a character named 'Jeong Yak-jeon' rather than historical and academic knowledge," he said. As director Lee Jun-ik said, “Even if I don’t ask or say anything, Seol Kyung-gu’s acting was ‘Jeong Yak-jeon’ itself.”

On the other hand, Byun Yo-han takes on the role of 'Chang-dae', who meets 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and shares knowledge and experiences changes in values. After making his mark on the public with the drama [Misaeng], he was recognized for his acting skills by crossing the screen and small screens through works such as the drama [Mr. Based on the broad acting spectrum shown in various works, Byun Yo-han clearly proved his presence by three-dimensionally portraying the character of 'Changdae' in <Jasaneobo>. Seol Kyung-gu, who worked with him, was confident that “<Jasaneobo> will be the most brilliant work in Byun Yo-han’s filmography”, so his passionate performance on the screen is expected to fascinate the audience.

In addition, Lee Jung-eun, who won the Best Supporting Actress award at various film festivals by leaving a strong impression in the hit film "Parasite", which swept the Academy and Cannes, took on the role of 'Gageodak', a black mountain woman who takes care of 'Jeong Yak-jeon', giving vitality to the play. In addition, Min Do-hee as ‘Bok-rye’, a childhood friend of ‘Changdae’, Cha Soon-bae as ‘Pung-heon’, a resident of Heuksan-do, and Kang Ki-young as ‘Lee Kang-hoe’, a disciple of ‘Jeong Yak-yong’, joined <Jasaneobo> to stably digest various characters. did. In addition, actors Dong Bang-woo, Jeong Jin-young, Kim Ui-seong, Bang Eun-jin, Ryu Seung-ryong, Cho Seung-yeon, Choi Won-young, Jo Woo-jin, and Yoon Kyung-ho, etc. Director Lee Jun-ik expressed his gratitude to the actors who joined the work regardless of the amount of time, saying, "The story that can approach the audience closer and closer through the appearance of actors with both solid acting skills and recognition has been completed." The impeccable performances of actors representing Korea will fill the drama richly.

‘Jeong Yak-jeon’, a scholar who woke up to sea creatures, and ‘Changdae’, a young fisherman who is good at studying writing
Two people who became each other's teachers and friends
Dreaming of a new world and delivering a heavy sound
The movie <Jasaneobo> is the story of a scholar 'Jeong Yak-jeon' who is curious about the sea more than a book after being exiled to Heuksan, and 'Changdae', a young fisherman who wants to get out of the sea and go on a career path, writing [Jasaneobo] and becoming friends. In <Jasaneobo>, which illuminates the relationship between the characters ‘Jeong Yak-jeon’ and ‘Changdae’ hidden in history, characters that were not easily found in existing historical dramas appear and draw attention. Director Lee Jun-ik said, “In the process of homogenizing heterogeneous relationships, the two have no choice but to become friends,” raising curiosity about the stories in the movie that will be drawn by 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and 'Changdae', both of which had different identities and orientations.

Jeong Yak-jeon, a scholar from a prestigious noble family, is a person with an open mind, unlike other yangbans who adhere to Neo-Confucianism. 'Jeongyakjeon', which is interested in the study of clear objects rather than the standardized academic discipline in Heuksando, the exile, constantly examines what knowledge truly is for the people. In particular, the appearance of 'Jeong Yak-jeon', in which he proposes to trade each other's knowledge to an island young man 'Chang-dae' in order to write a fish science book that will be of practical help to people's lives, clearly reveals the open ideology he had in a society with strong social order at the time. . Rather than conforming to the order required by the country, 'Jeongyakjeon', which constantly asks questions and reflects on it, will leave a deep impression on today's audiences as it breaks away from the stereotype of a scholar character expressed in other historical dramas.

Meanwhile, 'Changdae', born and raised on Heuksando, is a young fisherman who places more importance on studying writing than catching fish in the sea. 'Changdae' dreams of escaping Heuksando and climbing the road to success, believing that it is the way for the people to properly know and practice Neo-Confucianism, the country's governing philosophy, by airlifting books from the island. In addition, he is a person who has everything from a savvy disposition to stay away from 'Jeong Yak-jeon', a criminal offence, to a distribution to take the lead in visiting officials for the islanders suffering from expropriation of government children. The character of 'Changdae', who expands his knowledge and grows through meeting with 'Jeong Yak-jeon', is expressed three-dimensionally in the movie, and becomes a central axis leading the play along with the 'Jeong Yak-jeon' character. As such, <Jasaneobo> raises curiosity about the story the two characters with strong personalities will create through the appearances of 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and 'Changdae', which are markedly different from the images of orthodox nobles and commoners depicted in other historical drama works. The process of slowly getting closer to two people, who did not seem to get along with each other because of their different identities and values, will provide new fun and a heavy cinematic sound.

Practical books for people's lives, not learning
In 1814, 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and 'Changdae', an island young man, co-authored a study of fishery.
Capture the meaning of [Jasan Eobo] on the screen
In the movie <Jasaneobo>, the ichthyology book [Jasaneobo], which is the medium of the relationship between 'Jeongyakjeon' and 'Changdae', was published in 1814. It is a book that records the name, form, distribution, and actual condition. [Jasaneobo], which describes the characteristics of aquatic life with detailed explanations without drawings, is evaluated as a valuable resource that can give a glimpse into the life of the people at the time as well as the value of using marine resources. In addition, [Jasaneobo], which records the taste of fish and marine life and adds simple recipes, draws attention as a book that emphasizes the practical aspect to the maximum among the books written by Jeong Yak-jeon.

Unlike his younger brother 'Jeong Yak-yong', who wrote [Mokminsimseo], [Gyeongseyupyo], and [Yeoyudangjeonseo] and compiled Silhak ideology to correct national order, what is practical knowledge for people's lives rather than national order? The idea of 'Jeong Yak-jeon', which focused more on In particular, [Jasaneobo] is more meaningful in that it is a book written by 'Jeong Yak-jeon', a scholar with a high degree of knowledge and reputation with the help of 'Changdae', a young fisherman from Heuksan-do. Director Lee Jun-ik said, “I was able to discover a relationship with the character ‘Changdae’ by concentrating on why Jeong Yak-jeon wrote [Jasaneobo] and how a Confucian scholar was able to document nature in such detail in a book.” told In this way, the film will faithfully portray the relationship between the two characters, 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and 'Changdae', along with the values of 'Jeong Yak-jeon' through the subject of the ichthyology book [Jasaneobo].

[ Production diary ]

Journal of the writing of the Jasan Eobo 1.
Joseon Dynasty painted in plain black and white without color
Achromatic aesthetics that honestly capture the emotions of the characters
Delivering deep immersion and emotion with a video like an ink painting
<Jasaneobo>, which depicts the Joseon Dynasty in black and white, boasts beautiful visuals with the aesthetics of achromatic colors. Director Lee Jun-ik said, “The advantage of black and white is clarity. If flashy colors are excluded, the essential shape of an object or person is conveyed more clearly. When I looked at the pungmuls of the Joseon Dynasty in vivid black and white, I felt that the story of that era and the characters was closer.” <Jasaneobo>, expressed plainly in black and white, captures the vast natural scenery more deeply, creating a beautiful image like an ink painting.

In this way, the actors and production team made special efforts to realize <Jasan Eobo> on a high-quality black and white screen. Byun Yo-han, who plays the role of 'Changdae', said, "I thought that the audience would focus on the actors' eyes, expressions, and voices because you can't distract your eyes with color. So, I acted with care so that the sincerity of 'Changdae' can reach the audience at every moment." Lee Jung-eun also said, "On the black and white screen, the delicate emotions of the characters are portrayed in great detail." Because the screen, which has been stripped of such colorful colors, accurately captures the emotions of the characters as they are, the actors put forth every effort to maximize the immersion of the audience with their delicate performances.

In addition, the production team worked hard to enhance the perfection of the film by further highlighting the texture and outline of the costumes and props. In particular, Hyeonseop Shim, who participated in many period dramas such as <Contemplation>, <Sado>, and <Park Yeol>, put much effort into selecting the material for the costume in <Jasaneobo>. He said, "Most of the clothes of the residents of Heuksan Island were made of burlap, and the rougher texture was expressed by adding a sense of worn-out life to it," he said. In addition, at the beginning of the play, he wore a costume made of a soft material for 'Jeong Yak-jeon', who came to the exile, to visually express the difference from the residents and further emphasized the character's characteristics through the costume. In addition, the whey prop article said, “On a black-and-white screen, black and red looked almost the same color, so we had to pay more attention to the difference in color tone.” said As such, <Jasan Eobo> will attract the audience with its elaborately embodied video by further emphasizing the strengths of black and white.

Journal of the writing of the Jasan Eobo 2.
The beautiful nature that Jeong Yak-jeon faced 200 years ago
To a space with traces of great ancestors and historical depth
Capturing superb views hidden throughout Korea
As director Lee Jun-ik said, “I tried to shoot under the conditions most similar to those in which Jeong Yak-jeon actually went to exile and felt the local customs.” It was to find a place where it could be reproduced. However, in actual Heuksando, the conditions suitable for filming were not formed, including the absence of a coastal road to the beach. Accordingly, director Lee Jun-ik and the production team worked on location shooting by searching for the best locations among the big islands near Heuksan Island, such as Docho-do, Bigeum-do, and Jaeun-do, which have the conditions most similar to the actual exile.

First of all, the thatched-roof house set at ‘Gageo-daek’, where ‘Jeong Yak-jeon’ mainly resides, is installed on the cliff of Docho-do where you can see the panoramic sea view at a glance. In addition, the wharf scene containing the lives of fishermen was filmed on the beach of Jaeun Island, and the environment that Jeong Yak-jeon saw and felt hundreds of years ago was reproduced on the screen as much as possible. In addition, in Gangjin, where 'Changdae' in the play visits with a letter from 'Jeong Yak-jeon', it was filmed at Dasan Chodang and Baekryeonsa Temple, where the breath of Jeong Yak-yong was melted, adding realism and feeling the depth of the historical building.

Actor Seol Kyung-gu said, “I have been working in films for over 20 years, and I think it will be the most memorable filming location among them. There were many times when I admired the superb view while filming,” he said, expressing his satisfaction with the scenery contained in <Jasaneobo>. As such, the magnificent scenery and historical spaces contained in <Jasaneobo> will provide a wealth of sights to see and will make the audience immerse themselves in the time of Joseon in the 1800s.

Journal of the writing of the Jasan Eobo 3.
The actors' passion for acting to bring out the realism
The fighting spirit of the crew who overcame three typhoons
Raising the perfection of <Jasan Eobo>
<Jasan Eobo> was completed with the passion of the actors who worked hard to perfectly express their roles and the fighting spirit of the production team who struggled in adverse weather conditions. First, as Seol Kyung-gu took on the role of 'Jeong Yak-jeon', a real person, the most focus was on fully immersing himself in the character and putting sincerity in his acting. He said, “I thought most importantly the emotions that ‘Jeongyakjeon’ would have felt in Heuksando, an unfamiliar space 200 years ago,” he said. tried not to Through this, Seol Kyung-gu was able to delicately portray the three-dimensional character changes, from the complicated feelings of 'Jeong Yak-jeon', who went into exile, to the process of assimilating with the people of Heuksan Island and adapting to life on the island, and furthermore, a new curiosity about sea creatures.

In addition, Byun Yo-han, who played the role of 'Changdae', a young fisherman from Heuksan Island, was trained directly by an expert on how to handle fish, adding realism to the play. It is said that he surprised the scene by skillfully digesting the scenes of trimming fish, such as cutting the belly of marine life and separating the intestines after intense practice. In addition, in order to freely use the dialect, he continued to have conversations with his acquaintances from Jeolla-do, and devoted himself to practicing to the extent that he could lead the conversation naturally in the dialect by himself. In addition, he made constant efforts to learn diving techniques and hand signals before filming, and perfectly digested the underwater filming at 5M depth, which was the first filming. In addition, Lee Jung-eun also received training from experts to skillfully handle seafood such as skates and octopus in the play, and Min Do-hee also overcame water phobia and successfully completed underwater filming. made it

The production team did their best to overcome the adverse environmental conditions. The filming location of the beach where 'Changdae' fishes was located at the end of the west coast, so there was a big difference between the tides. So, the production team had to move the equipment according to the tide and shoot. In addition, the production crew met three typhoons and the autumn rainy season during the filming period. In particular, the thatched-roof house set of ‘Gageo-daek’, where ‘Jeong Yak-jeon’ stayed, was located on a cliff and was inevitably vulnerable to typhoons. Therefore, the production team was able to keep the set by tying the thatched house with nets and plastic and fixing it with stakes every day there was a typhoon forecast. The efforts and passions of many people are expected to raise the level of perfection of the movie <Jasan Eobo> and visit the audience in 2021.

Journal of the writing of the Jasan Eobo 4.
A space that harmonizes simple people's lives with nature
Props made with sincerity down to the smallest detail
A vivid picture of Heuksando during the Joseon Dynasty
The production team of <Jasan Eobo> worked hard to produce all the spaces and props in the movie to fit the background of the times. The space that paid the most attention was the thatched-roof house set in 'Gageo-daek', the residence of 'Jeong Yak-jeon' in the play. As art director Lee Jae-seong said, “I hoped that the artistic elements of the space in the movie would harmonize without harming the surrounding beautiful natural scenery,” the thatched house of 'Gageo-daek' is in perfect harmony with the superb view created by the surrounding islands and sea. born into space. The Daecheongmaru overlooking the sea and the village scenery that surrounds it expresses the living space of the native grasses of the time, and at the same time completes a distinctive space that adds the taste of the scholars of the Joseon Dynasty who were exiled there.

Various props that enrich the play are also worth noting. The production team expressed the emotions and atmosphere of the island villagers by adding a setting to dry fish, seaweed, and fishing gear (tools used for catching or collecting fish) on one side of the yard in each house. To this end, he went to fish markets all over the country to airlift various fish, and in particular, purchased 3 tons of fish only in Mokpo, vividly reproducing the appearance of the Fish Market in Heuksan Island. In addition, for the scene in which the deep-sea fish appeared, a large dot that was more realistic than the real one was produced, which drew the resentment of the actors. Byun Yo-han, who digested the scene of carrying a dot-dom on his back in the play, said, "It seemed to weigh over 100 kg. It was so heavy that I couldn't remember the lines for a moment, but thanks to that, an interesting scene was born."

In addition, at the special request of director Lee Jun-ik, the production team handcrafted the paper, brush and ink bag that 'Jeong Yak-jeon' always carries, as well as the ship and gear of 'spearhead', so that even in the production of small props, the character's characteristics are fully preserved. I put a lot of effort into expressing myself. Byun Yo-han said, "The props are real, so I was able to naturally focus on acting. As soon as I got on the boat, I felt like a fisherman.”

Journal of the writing of the Jasan Eobo 5.
From the writing process of the books to the actual poem written by Jeong Yak-yong
Add cinematic fun and depth with historical anecdotes placed throughout
Director Jun-ik Lee, who reviewed various historical sources and specialized books prior to production, placed the anecdotes remaining in history throughout <Jasaneobo>. In addition, the process of writing various books of Jeong Yak-jeon, including [Jasan Eobo], was recorded in the film, and the poem written by Jeong Yak-yong was exquisitely harmonized with the situation the characters encountered in the play. As such, the stories in history hidden throughout the film not only enrich the story, but also add to the fun of the film.

First, director Lee Jun-ik vividly visualized the Shinyu persecution and Hwang Sa-yeong white paper incident that occurred after Jeongjo passed away. By embodying the events that they encountered with the print in the history book on the screen, the audience was able to immerse themselves in the situation of Jeong Yak-jeon and his brothers. In addition, the writing process of [Songjeongsa], written by Jeong Yak-jeon on the policy of prohibiting pine harvesting, and [Pyohaeshimal], which documented the drifting experience of fisherman Soon-deuk Moon, were also made up of anecdotes in the film. In particular, the anecdote of [Songjeongsa] is meaningful in that it reveals the aspect of Jeong Yak-jeon, who tried to correct the lives of the people suffering from the country's wrong forestry policy. Also, in the anecdote that led Jeong Yak-jeon to write [Pyohaeshimal], the will of Jeong Yak-jeon to develop the lives of the people by accepting the values of Western culture with an open attitude to learning is revealed.

Here, in the play, the Heuksando woman 'Gageo-daek' said, "You don't know that only the seeds are poor and the fields are precious. The mother who sows seeds is only as heavy as the father, and the mother who gave birth to and raised the embryo is behind the scenes. The children of Inje also need to know that their mothers are precious.” The scene where he lashed out at 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and 'Changdae' also originated from an anecdote in history. This is the story recorded in Jeong Yak-yong's letter to Jeong Yak-jeon, and it is expressed in the lines of 'Gageo-daek' by melting the anecdote of what happened in the inn where Jeong Yak-yong stayed after being exiled to Gangjin. These contents have a special meaning in that they convey a message that is more closely related to modern thought against the background of the late Joseon Dynasty, when the ideology of male-to-female ratio prevailed.

In addition, Jeong Yak-yong's Chinese poetry, which was placed in the right place by director Lee Jun-ik, added flavor to the film. In the scene where 'Jeong Yak-jeon' and 'Jeong Yak-yong', who went to exile, part at a fork in the road, 'Yuljeongbyeol (栗亭別)' is shown, and in the scene where the drunken 'Jeong Yak-jeon' walks the sea at night, 'Bonggansonam (奉簡巽菴)' )' as a narration, heightening the lonely atmosphere. In addition, the verse exchanged between 'Changdae' and 'Lee Kang-hoe' in Dasan Chodang was also made with the phrases from Jeong Yak-yong's Korean poem 'Dokso (獨笑)'. In addition, the content of 'Sorrowful Yang (哀絶阳)', written by Jeong Yak-yong after hearing about the people who resisted the tyranny of the military government, was also embodied as an event in the movie, helping to deepen the story. As such, <Jasan Eobo> will provide the audience with the fun of discovering the anecdotes in history that are embedded throughout the film.

[ Interesting advice if you know ]

1. What is 'Shinyu Persecution'?
In 1801 (1st year of King Sunjo), the persecution of Catholics occurred during the New Year. At the time, the expansion of Catholicism, which rejected patriarchal authority and Confucian rituals and rituals, was considered a challenge to the Confucian society of Joseon in general and a serious threat to the ruling system. As a result, King Jeongjo, who had a relatively generous policy toward Catholics, died, and Jeong-sun took over as regent in his place, and the persecution of Catholicism began in earnest. As a result of this persecution, about 100 Catholics including Jeong Yak-jong, Lee Seung-hoon and Lee Ga-hwan, including Jeong Yak-jeon's brother, were sentenced to death, and about 400 including Jeong Yak-jeon and Jeong Yak-yong were exiled.

2. What is the 'Hwang Sa-young White Paper'?
In 1801, a secret letter written by Hwang Sa-young, a Catholic, the full story of the Shinyu persecution and countermeasures. When the persecution of Catholics broke out, Hwang Sa-yeong wrote in the secret letter a plan such as sending Western ships and troops to Joseon so that Joseon would allow freedom of religion. However, before sending it to the Bishop of Beijing, he was arrested and sentenced to death, and the persecution of Catholics after that was even harsher.

3. What is [Songjeongsa]?
A book written by Jeong Yak-jeon in Heuksan-do, where he was exiled. It contains a critique of the forestry policy of Joseon at the time. In [Songjeongsa], Jeong Yak-jeon pointed out that the country's erroneous pine management policy is causing severe damage to the people, and that pine trees to be used for timber cannot grow in the country.

4. What is [expression end]?
A book written by Jeong Yak-jeon about the drifting experiences of Sun-deuk Moon, a fisherman in the late Joseon Dynasty. Moon Soon-deuk bought skate in 1801 and met a storm on his return trip to Japan, where he landed in Yugu-guk. After returning to his hometown of Sinan-gun in 1805, Moon Soon-deuk met Jeong Yak-jeon and drifted in Japan and the Philippines, and told him what he had seen and heard.

5. What is [Mokminsimseo]?
This book was written by Jeong Yak-jeon's younger brother and Silhak scholar Jeong Yak-yong during his exile in Gangjin. It was completed in 1818, the year the exile ended. [Mokminsimseo] criticizes the tyranny of the officials and the guidelines that the leader must follow. It is evaluated as a masterpiece that details the realities of local society and politics in the late Joseon Dynasty in connection with the issues of people's livelihood and the main duties of the leader.

Source: Doosan Encyclopedia, Korean National Culture Encyclopedia

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