Returning to the period movie genre that made him famous, Lee Joon-ik’s 2014 The Throne explores the life and death of Crown Prince Sado. As homework, you are strongly encouraged to read the memoirs of Sado’s wife, Lady Hyegyong, failing which Margaret Drabble’s The Red Queen, for a version of his life with which to compare Lee Joon-ik’s treatment. The screening, which will be followed by a Q+A with the director, is a teaser for the 11th London Korean Film Festival later this year. Come along and be teased.
The Throne (사도)
Dir: Lee Joon-ik, 2014
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Yoo Ah-in, Moon Geun-young
7pm, 18 April 2016, Regent Street Cinema | £7 | Book here
Throughout his reign (1724-1776), King Youngjo (21st king of the Joseon Dynasty) was constantly plagued by questions about his right to throne. Although the son of a King, his mother had only been a lowly-born concubine, furthermore his path to power had been accelerated by the sudden death of his half-brother King Kyoungjong. In order to overcome such niggling doubts, Youngjo dedicated himself in all matters to becoming an infallible king.
When his heir, the Crown Prince is born late in Youngjo’s life, he wishes for the prince to become a king who is fully accepted by everyone without comment. Having gained an understanding of his father’s deep-rooted sense of duty, the Crown Prince endeavours to become the perfect prince that his father desires. However, the Crown Prince soon discovers that perfection isn’t always within one’s grasp, leaving the viewer to ask ‘can their father-son relationship ever be recovered?’
Followed by a Q&A with director Lee Joon-ik
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.