Director – Lee Kwang-ho – 2019 – South Korea – 26m
On their wedding day, a bride attempts to remove he groom’s memory of a previous girlfriend– in the KAFA Shorts: A Midsummer’s Fantasia programme from LKFF, the London Korean Film Festival 2023 which runs in cinemas from Thursday, November 2nd to Thursday, November 16th
In a large van presumably on her way with her groom to the wedding reception, the bride has him rendered unconscious, so a device can be placed upon his head that will allow her, guided by representatives of the firm she’s hired, to tamper with his brain and erase what she considers undesirable memories, i.e. the memories of the previous girlfriend with whom he spent six years.
Her assistant has a handgun; she is given what appears to be a blue toy pistol. Entering her groom’s memories in this armed state, she is able to, for instance, enter a scenario in a restaurant and shoot at the woman who turns into increasingly large square blocks of pixels before vanishing from sight altogether. It turns out that the hardest image to erase is the final parting when they split up because this image carries with it more emotional pain and trauma than the previous ones.
She also has to do battle with his Hippocanthus, in the form of a male security guard protecting the groom’s memories.
Like the van careering through the streets, she and the firm she’s hired are up against the clock to get the job done before they arrive at the reception. And, in a clever twist towards the end, there’s a suggestion that she may not be the half of the couple doing the memory erasing at all.
It’s all a strange journey into the beginning of marriage, hinting at the impact of past relationships on present ones and the nature of trust (or lack of it) within that institution. The whole thing is very effectively staged in the manner of a spy action film or a sci-fi hardware thriller. There are quite a few twists and turns to keep you guessing, and at just under half an hour, the whole thing feels perfectly judged.
Love Glitch plays in the KAFA Shorts: A Midsummer’s Fantasia programme from LKFF, the London Korean Film Festival 2023 which runs in cinemas from Thursday, November 2nd to Thursday, November 16th.