E J-yong

  • I. Introduction

    E J-yong is a South Korean film director and screenwriter.

    II. Career

    E J-yong was born in Daejeon, South Chungcheong Province in 1966. He studied Turkish at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. After graduating from university, he went backpacking around the world in the late 1980s and fell in love with cinema. E entered the Korean Academy of Film Arts in 1990 and studied filmmaking.[2]

    He first became known for his 19-minute short film, Homo Videocus (1990) which he co-directed with Daniel H. Byun (Byun Hyuk), and which won the Prix Recherche (Research Prize) and Prix de la Jeunesse (Youth Jury Prize) at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and the Best Short Narrative award at the 1992 San Francisco International Film Festival. E went on to make other short films such as My Mother's Summer and Time in the Mirror.

    In 1998, he presented his feature film debut An Affair, about a woman who starts an affair with her sister's fiance. It won great acclaim both from audiences and critics for E's minimalist, sophisticated sense of directing.

    E's second feature, Asako in Ruby Shoes in 2000, is one of the first instances of a Korean-Japanese co-production that utilized cast and crew members in both countries on more or less equal terms. Using a Korean crew for the scenes set in Seoul, and a Japanese crew for the shooting in Japan, the film starred Lee Jung-jae as the protagonist (he was also the lead actor of An Affair).

    Then in the fall of 2003, E presented his costume drama Untold Scandal, based on the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses but set in 18th-century Korea. An unexpected smash hit, it set a new record for the biggest opening weekend for a Korean film and went on to sell over three million tickets.

    Given his demonstrated flair for scandalous topics and his new-generation attitude towards moral issues, for his next film E adapted the controversial webcomic Dasepo Girls, which revolved around a high school where the students are sex addicts, the teachers are perverts, and virtually nothing was forbidden.

    E's next project Homecoming was selected by the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) in 2007.

    In 2009, E gathered an ensemble cast of six of Korea's top female thespians (Youn Yuh-jung, Lee Mi-sook, Go Hyun-jung, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Min-hee, Kim Ok-bin) for his low-budget, semi-improvisational mockumentary Actresses. Set during a fashion magazine shoot on Christmas Eve, the film depicted the celebrity and humanity of actresses, with the cast all using their real-life names and telling candid stories.

    In 2014, E directed and co-wrote My Brilliant Life, a film adaptation of Kim Aeran's novel My Palpitating Life. He cast Kang Dong-won and Song Hye-kyo as young parents of a boy with progeria, a genetic disorder that causes rapid aging.

    E next wrote the screenplay of The Bacchus Lady, a film about a female senior citizens who sell sex and soft drinks to male senior citizens; it entered pre-production in 2015.

    In 2019, he released his latest film, The Big Picture.

    III. Filmography

    Year Title
    1990 Homo Videocus
    1998 An Affair
    1998 Time in the Mirror
    1999 My Mother's Summer
    2000 Asako in Ruby Shoes
    2003 Untold Scandal
    2004 Joy of Love
    2006 Dasepo Naughty Girls
    2008 Homecoming
    2009 Actresses
    2012 How to Fall in Love in 10 Minutes
    2013 Behind the Camera
    2014 My Brilliant Life
    2016 The Bacchus Lady
    2019 The Big Picture