Friday, July 28, 2006

Have We Really Loved? - Noh Heekyung

Talking about HWRL, no one can ignore its script writer Noh Heekyung. Unlike other BYJ dramas, we are more or less focused on the storylines and the actors, HWRL made me want to know about its script writer. In almost every dialogue and scence in HWRL, you hear and see its creator and her values. I particularly like the part bb wrote about her in one of her HWRL postings and an interview with Noh Heekyung by yukihosi, translated by Joanne from Quilt. At the end I also include a web site I kept for some informations about HWRL and its script writer in English.

You know me, I will copy/paste down the writings I like ... So here is the paragraphs in bb's posting about Noh Heekyung ---

In fact, Yong Joon was the first actor to be cast in the drama. When he accepted the role, he didn’t know who he would be acting with, including the female lead. Why then did Yong Joon decide to take such a big risk in accepting this role then? It was purely based on his trust in the scriptwriter Roh Hee Kyung and director Park Jong for HWRL. [he did it again with AS didn't he? guess some things never change...]Scriptwriter Roh Hee Kyung came from a poor family herself and has first-hand experience when it comes to the lives of the lower income groups in the society. Her works emitted an real-ness and sincerity that never failed to touch hearts. Lines penned by her were sensitive, philosophical. She’s got a very unique character and her own special style. She’s one of the very few writers who would approach script-writing as though she’s writing a novel. And it’s precisely because of this that each and every piece of her work shines with such artistic realism.Roh herself once said, “If I were not poor once myself, how then would I truly understand the loneliness and helplessness in life? If I came from an average income family, how then could I share the sadness and the bitter anger of those being left behind? I personally feel that as a writer, the more painful memories I have, the better. If I’ve experienced pain myself, then I can really understand the despair of others. If I’ve failed before, then I would know how to comfort others when they fail.”“Who’s to say TV dramas must be lighthearted and funny? When it comes to a TV drama, yes, no doubt it can be a lighthearted and happy hour, but it too can be a time that inspire the viewers to think hard, to search for answers. Yes, it can be something that’s not once-off, it can be more permanent with a more lasting effect… For a TV professional to create something that just tickles the viewers for three minutes, or just touches them for three minutes… that’s an insult to the viewers.”Her ideals towards her art run parallel with those of Yong Joon’s. And her gift also won Yong Joon’s immense admiration and respect. Before, Yong Joon had already read scripts penned by her, and he had long decided he would, one day, act in her story. And when the opportunity presented itself in the form of HWRL, he didn’t think twice.


Now here is the translated interview with Roh Heekyeong (Noh? not sure)

【TRANSLATION】Interview with charismatic script writer, Roh Heekyeong..
[AERA] October 2005 By yukihosi

From Quilt Korean to English translation by Joanne

yukihosi translated this from Japanese to Korean and posted on the Talk Box of BYJ’s official home.

【Translation】Interview with charismatic script writer, Roh Heekyeong..

By yukihosi

Roh Heekyeong, charismatic script writer in Korean dramas..

When it comes to Roh Heekyeong, she is one of writers whose works are most highly evaluated in Korea.

However, she is still in her 30th and young. We cannot hide our surprise at the potential power in Korean visual(video image) fields.

One of her representative works, ‘WooJeongSa-‘HWRL’ (1999) is depicting a heavy theme of death with sincerity and is a masterpiece beaming with conspicuously unusual color among Korean dramas.

Its original title is ‘Wooriga Jeongmal Saranghatsseulgga?-Have We Really Loved?’.

As showing in this title, this work throws questions about what is the most important thing in life, what is the love, with the main axis of love between main character, Jaeho, played by BYJ and woman senior to him, Shinhyeong, played by Kim Hyesoo. The appearance of BYJ, who played Jaeho stricken with incurable disease, also shakes up hearts of people who watch him.How come this writer, as young as she was yet, was able to have depicted the work like this?

Do we love (our) lives?

I have a memory that it was very difficult while I wrote the ‘WooJeongSa(HWRL)’.

Although I am talking this and that through main character Jaeho,I really had agony if it was all right to give hardship to that much extent to a young man.

The latter half in 20th, age of Jaeho, is a very important period in life.I wanted to think various things through that period.

Do we really love our lives?
My intention was that I would like to ask that (question) once again.

Sending off a loved one

The latter half of 20th was also an important period to me.

When I was 27, the same as age as Jaeho, I lost my mother due to stomach cancer.

Although I nursed her for about one and a half year with my father, I had been in very much deep sorrow while I was taking care of her.

No matter how hard I nursed her, I could not save my mother,and I myself did not get any salvation(relief) at all.

At that time, I found out that if one does not prepare for the ‘death’ all the time, neither oneself nor people around could not get salvation.

Now, I am able to accept that dying with cancer or disease is a big present in life.

The reason for it is because (the cancer or disease) gives preparation time to arrange the ‘life’ properly.

To tell you the truth, my father has lung cancer at this time. He was diagnosed 5 months ago.

When I found out that my mother had cancer, I kept on only crying for 3 months.

However, when it was time for my father, I cried only for one week. It was because time was too precious to cry.

At this time, we are living together and spending precious time of properly arranging history of father and me.

No one can avoid death.

If that is the case, I think it is precious to send off loved ones while telling them what we would like to say to them like ‘thank you or I am sorry’, instead of sending them away with crying.

There is a scene in which father of Shinhyeong was asking to his daughter who was to marry Jaeho who was about to die.

It was if you will be able to live your life alone after sending off Jaeho…Shinhyeong answered 甀 am able to live’.

Hence, in the last scene, Shinhyeong neither said Jaeho ‘Do not die!!’ nor did she cry or scream holding him. The things I want to speak are contained in that scene.

Missing one while crying.

Sufferings in life, I think Jaeho is the person who represents that.

Not having money and fame, not having won the fight against disease, not being able to be with loved one for a long time,there was nothing Jaeho had accomplished after all.

However, appearance of making his heart precious at each and every moment and of living his life hard, no matter how much cruel life he was shouldering…that itself is beautiful, I think.

To live faithfully to one’s life..

I think that is probably reason why Jaeho receives love from people.I cried many times as I gave pains to young person(Jaeho).

When oneself does not really cry, one cannot make TV viewers cry.After wiping tears, I would read (a line) once more and if I did not shed tear, I did not use that line.

It was because I was able to know that if I calculated to make TV viewers cry or if I really made their hearts cry.

The times when I cried the most were when I wrote the scene where Jaeho, suffering pain from diease, thought that he wanted to go to a villa to die, and when I wrote that line of Shinhyeong telling Jaeho ‘I will not wake him up again twice’ in the last scene.

However, it is not that important to write wonderful lines. The problem is the fundamental thing.

For example, what kind of heart would Jaeho have with death ahead of him.Why did Shinhyeong accept Jaeho who had once betrayed her.

As I could not get the answer when I thought about them once or twice, there were times I had to think over 100 times.

It is a difficult work to kill a person.

Jaeho and BYJ…

BYJ was a person who was loved from many people in Korea as he was the star since his debut period.

I was a little anxious before I began work (with him).
Thinking, he seemed to have strong will, and wondered if he would have points of arrogance rightfully for the star?
..However, the fact I was really surprised when I met him was that he was really a person who was putting efforts.
He always pursued perfection and when the writer or director were not prepared, he also did not move.
Regarding the setting of the situation also, there were not any time he did at his will with his own interpretation.
He always asked this side(me) and about the things I thought wrong, he would ask with questions.
He is not a person who prides himself or who would be satisfied in a certain appropriate place.
He would repeat efforts no matter how many times, how many times.
When we saw his script book, he checked even the ?(question marks) one by one,
and he is to the extent that he even memorized all the lines of other people.
I have a memory of telling him ‘Please let your brain rest a little bit..’ as he was thinking too many things.
Although there are not a few cases that stars would not practice as they spend too much time with shooting CF, etc. orbecame self-centered, etc., he did not have such aspects at all and he was never once tardy.
At first, I had many conversations with him about Jaeho.
However, after that time, because he became assimilated to Jaeho, there was no need to talk anything.I think that although it was difficult for him also, he could understand Jaeho.
Although he originally was not a person who cries often, he shed a lot of tears.
In the ‘WLS’ also, he played crying action really well.
As there happened to occur many fans of this drama and BYJ in Korea so that what they called fan club was created.
That fan club is active in raising fund for poor children or children with brain tumor like Jaeho and there were times when BYJ himself cooperated with them.

Women embrace men

Probably because I am young, I inspire dramas with my ideals.

For example, the relationship between Shinhyeong and her parent in the ‘WooJeongSa(HWRL)’ is the appearance between parents and children I wanted the most.
It is a relationship where they can talk like friends. The fact that my mother was my friend might influence it.
I think that the high and low relationships between parents and children should not become stricter than what they are now in Korea.
Parents & children, male & female, junior & senior…separating things like those, I have cautious feeling about them.
Although there are cases that even the relationship between male and female becomes a relation of the upper & the lower or confronting relation, if those become fixed, those are problematic.
Human beings are multi-faceted so that they could become either weak or strong. For example, even in Jaeho, there is a weak side.
He is either disturbed and when his heart is in pain, he would even cry also. I gave him such frankness like that.
On the other hand, although Shinhyeong seems to be tender and weak, she is strong.
The two people have all the merits they can have as human beings.
I like very much the scenes where woman embraces man.
When I was little, there was a time I was surprised upon seeing my parent sleep.
It was because that my mother embraced my father and had his head on her arm.
I thought that men too could lean on women. Of course the opposite of that is also possible.
I think that it will be nice that I am able to depict such relationship between men and women.

Made up her mind to become a writer when she was in primary school..

When I myself was young, my family was very poor. I also had worked in a garment factory or movable bar on covered cart as appearing in the ‘WooJeongSa(HWRL)’.

Such experiences gave me big confidence.
The scene I like the most in the ‘WooJeongSa(HWRL)’ is the scenewhere Jaeho and Shinhyeong are simply eating noodle soup in at the sea food market.
For the young people, things they eat together with their loved ones are the most delicious.
Although there are things I get angry at being poor, the fact of sharing something with each other..
I think there are esthetics the being poor can give.
The time when I thought to become a writer was when I was in 5th grade in an primary school. I won an award at writing once.
Although I loved drawing, as I could not do that without buying supplies for it, I decided my mind to become a writer at that time.

To write it one more time again.

I thought about writing a novel when I was in college.

However, I took a drama class without any expectation as people around me recommended it, the saying from professor ‘The drama is a human being’, that words rang & spread (touched) in my heart.
Saying that if one does not love human being, one cannot write a drama also…
This is the saying I like the most even now. What is human being? This is also a philosophical question.
Although I have been continuously questioning (about human being), I could not find an answer until now.
The viewing rate of the ‘WooJeongSa(HWRL)’ was not high. However, there occurred enthusiastic fans.
Although ordinary Korean dramas cannot help but be written as they are chased by time fortunately, I was able to write (HWRL) ahead of time getting some time.
The ‘WooJeongSa(HWRL)’ also never received interference from the broadcasting station even once.
Come to think about it now, I feel like I was not able to write all about Jaeho’s pain because I was young and also I had insufficient understanding about life at that time.
Sometime later, when I become mature as a human being, I certainly want to re-write this drama one more time.

Translated by yukihosiThis is the entire copy of interview carried in a supplement to the October issue of the AERA magazine.


Here is a website that has some introductions about HWRL, the crew, and the script writer No Heekyung.


ginnie said...

Thank you H! I enjoy reading the interview with the scriptwriter.

After watching HWRL - I can appreciate her interview more than ever.

I like it that she made it a point to show both sides of human - strong and weak. In all of us, we have our inner strengths as well as inner weaknesses. She wrote that part of the characters so well. At the same time, I like how she intentionally wrote a woman comforting a man into the plot. For some reasons, I feel that this scriptwriter is very womanly. In what sense? Almost motherly...I think it is woman's natural instinct to want to care for others. And naturally loved ones. And having Shin Hyung comfort Jaeho when he is at his weakest point, hug him, lend him a is very touching. She reversed the traditional role we see so often on television,movies.

HeippieH said...

Hi Ginnie, most of these articles are my savings from a year ago, and you know why I saved them. Now that I have a blog, I have a place to share them. She is a good scriptwriter, though I wish she could be better, as I mentioned before, from time to time some scenes or dialogues were too deliberate, or too dramatic. But I agree with you, she is very close to nature, she depicted her ideal of a true woman like Shinyeung who has the natual instinct of a mother, and a true man just like Jaeho, physically strong, responsible and protective to his family, and natually greedy and agressive :-) At the end, she used Chil-jin's words to tell us, Jaeho is a true man. 真正的男子汉!

Your comments are always very analytical, enjoy it. Thanks.