Life, Once Again! - Chapter 822
Maru saw banners when he drove past Gangbyeon station. After engraving into his eyes the promotion text ‘Rediscovering Everyday Life’ for the Ttukseom Film Festival, he turned his car to the parking lot. The film festival was held in a movie theater near the station. It seemed to be held alongside commercial films, and there were many visitors who were looking at the souvenir stalls for the festival in a curious manner.
“There are about 20 minutes left, so let’s look around.”
The film started at 3, but there was a meeting 30 minutes before that. Maru was told that he was going to meet the host and preview the questions they were going to be asked prior to the event. Maru bought a ballpoint pen and a t-shirt. Apparently, the sales would go towards supporting the production of indie films. As he waited while looking at the leaflets, people started arriving. Daemyung, Bangjoo, and Aram were the ones to arrive first, and Ando and Hyungseok followed suit. They entered the theater.
“You must be director Kang Sora, right?”
Sora started talking to a woman wearing horn-rimmed glasses and eventually waved at him. Maru handed his leaflet to Hyungseok before walking over.
“First, you two should come on the stage once the film ‘Starting Point’ finishes airing. We can’t have any disturbance in the audience seats, so we placed you two in row A. Even if it’s a little uncomfortable, please be understanding.”
The woman who introduced herself as Shin Gyeongah continued speaking as she showed the question sheet,
“As a whole, the audience will be the one asking you questions, but I’m going to start things off by asking this question. It will depend on your talking skills, director, but there are times when it becomes too awkward because the audience is too quiet.”
“I guess it will be quite embarrassing if no one asks anything.”
“I’m just saying that it’s a possibility. People are interested in this to the point that the tickets sold out, so I probably don’t need to worry. Just take it easy. Think of it as talking to your friends. However, if you do encounter any sensitive questions that you cannot answer, please give me a signal; I’ll try to go to the next question.”
“I want to get questions that will trouble me. Obvious questions and obvious answers are boring.”
“I’m glad that you think that way. We’re thinking that we should do it for 30 minutes, and it can be 50 minutes max. There’s a film we’re airing after that, so we have to be thorough on time keeping.”
Shin Gyeongah gave him a question sheet while saying that he should think of answers beforehand. There were separate questions for the actor and the director. Shin Gyeongah left, saying that they should meet again after the film.
“Seonbae, are there any questions you don’t want to answer?”
“I don’t have any either. Looks like this will go without a hitch.”
Sora, who was speaking while looking at the question sheet, suddenly turned left a little. She looked very unnatural.
“What is it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why are you sneaking towards the left?”
Sora looked at him while staring at him as though to ask what he meant before turning to the right this time. She looked suspicious no matter how he looked at her. Maru turned around. Ando was right behind him. He was talking to Hyungseok, and he didn’t look like he minded what was going on here.
“Are you doing that because you don’t want to meet eyes with Koo Ando?”
“It’s not like that. Do you take me for a kid?”
She’s not a kid or so she claims. Maru took a large stride to the left. Sora, who was using his body as a shield, quickly switched places. She stood right in front of him and looked everywhere while looking like nothing had happened.
“You’re not a kid?”
Sora did not reply. A notice went up on an LED matrix display saying that the film was about to start. Sora quickly ran into the 6th screen room.
“Where’s Sora?” Ando asked.
Maru told him that she went inside first before going towards the 6th screen room. He sat down on seat A8 just as he was told beforehand. Next to him, Sora kept glancing backwards.
“Should I switch places with him?”
“No. Did I ask you to?”
“I just asked since you seem so anxious. Did you change tactics? Or do you suddenly feel embarrassed to see his face?”
“Hello? I’m completely fine, you know? I’m just being considerate of him because he might feel anxious if he meets eyes with me.”
“Who’s being considerate of who now?”
She didn’t even retort as though she didn’t have an excuse at this point. The way she didn’t speak a word and kept looking forward made it seem like she was going on a silent riot until the end of the film. Did she have a change of heart after being by herself in the bedroom? It didn’t look like she had decided to stop being a tomboy and become a prim and proper lady instead. Maru turned around to look at Ando sitting in a higher row. Ando jutted his head out as though he was asking if something was wrong. Maru mouthed ‘nothing’ back to him.
“Is Ando-oppa looking at me?”
“No, he’s fixed on the leaflet.”
Sora just locked her fingers together and fidgeted with her index fingers. She didn’t seem to like this situation. To Sora, who had solved all her life problems until now without getting stuck, Koo Ando must be a tough equation without a formula to solve it.
“It’s going to start soon. Calm down for now.”
“Alright, I should keep my private matters aside for now.”
The 6th screen room, which had been completely empty, was now filled with people. Maru felt rather grateful that the tickets sold out despite the fact that it was announced that Sooil won’t be participating in the GV. Sora was also quite dazed when she looked at the all 120 seats filled with people.
“I suddenly feel nervous.”
“Don’t slip up when you receive questions later. Ando’s watching.”
“I swear your mouth will be your downfall one day.”
After notifying the audience of the emergency exits, the room turned dark. Along with the sound of a motor turning, the screen masking began. When the aspect ratio was set, the video appeared on the screen. The words ‘Starting Point’ appeared in the middle of the screen in calligraphic writing. It felt quite different from viewing it on a monitor.
The film began with dragging a sleeping bag up the mountain. He was reminded of Bangjoo, who suffered in Sooil’s stead inside the sleeping bag. Thanks to him, the shoot became a lot easier. The moment he opened the sleeping bag after realizing that the friend he thought to be dead was still alive, the audience burst out groaning and exclaiming. It wasn’t surprising since a bloody Sooil appeared. The person sitting behind him whispered ‘what, is he already dead?’ in a worried voice.
The scene he shot with Sooil over several takes began. He, holding a sharp stone, was telling Sooil to die because it was too late, and Sooil, begging to spare him inside the sleeping bag, came out alternately on the screen. It was a pretty good scene even when he watched it again. Back then, he really had the impulse to kill him, and Sooil probably had the desire to live as well. The day they watched the finished product together, Sooil shook his head, saying that he almost ended up crying back then.
The moment he smashed down the stone towards the camera, the screen turned dark for a moment before switching to a different scene. It was the scene where the two of them drank together in a room. Maru carefully looked at the reactions of the audience. The switch of scenes could be considered unkind towards the audience. Some people in the audience tilted their heads in confusion because the bloody Sooil was suddenly talking like nothing had happened, but the majority seemed to have realized that time was pulled back and focused on the plot.
“Look at that redness on your face. People must think that it’s makeup, won’t they?” Sora said in a small voice.
Perhaps thanks to the fact that they had some soju before the shoot, the drunk acting turned out very nicely. It was then followed by quarreling with Sooil and smashing Sooil’s head with an empty bottle. The moment the empty bottle hit Sooil’s head, the screen turned dark again. This kind of switching was shown off before, so it probably didn’t confuse the audience anymore.
Two men wearing school uniforms were sitting under the street lamps. The orange-colored lights above their heads faintly spread out. The screen looked very pretty, as expected of the location which made Sora exclaim the moment she saw it. The combination of the street lights and the river was cool even when seen through a monitor, and it looked several times better now that it was on screen. From how Sora was smiling in satisfaction, she also seemed to like the final product.
Through an ordinary conversation between the two characters, it showed how the two became friends. The audience probably now understood that the two men had become friends due to a coincidence and were brought to ruin through a coincidental accident as well. At the same time, they must have understood that the slightly twisted beginning of their relationship was what inevitably lead to the murder as well.
The film ended with Maru looking at the sky in a tranced manner while holding a reddened stone in one hand. In the last scene, they used a borrowed light that was a similar color to street lamps. The color temperature was slightly different, but it was adjusted in post.
After the film ended, the lights turned back on again. Along with a round of applause, the doors at the front opened before some microphones came in. It was time for the GV.