10 21 oct '23
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Park Sye-young

The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra (다섯 번째 흉추)

Focus on Korean Cinema 62' - 2022 - Fantasy, Horror - Dialogue: Korean
Director: Park Sye-young Composer: Han Min-hee With: Park Ji-hyeon, Moon Hye-in, Haam Seo-kyoung
Possibly the strangest film of Film Fest Gent 2022, The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra follows the journey of a mattress fungus in search of love ... This sparkling, restless and unexpectedly wholesome debut is guaranteed to grow a cult following.
The opening of The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra teaches that fungi generally have a very short life span. "But there are always variables." Whether that's the case in love - the ultimate bond - is something that a fungal creature tries to find out for itself in this unprecedented symbiosis between body horror and romance. Born into an abandoned mattress, the fungus longs to be released rather than vegetate. The curious organism travels and grows with them from owner to owner, mainly unhappy couples and lonely souls, feeding off the fifth thoracic vertebra in their spine. Don't let that gory detail keep you from giving this highly idiosyncratic love poem a chance. For his first feature, Korean director Park Sye-young has taken on just about every task, and his inventiveness with an extremely low budget is infectious.
“Heartbreak manifests itself as a vengeful fungus in The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra. Park Sye-young’s imaginative debut feature blends the body horror of early David Cronenberg with the witty eccentricity of Quentin Dupieux and adds its own flavours of melancholy and wistfulness.” - Screen Daily

Image gallery

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Credits

Director

Park Sye-young

Composer

Han Min-hee

With

Park Ji-hyeon, Moon Hye-in, Haam Seo-kyoung

Scenario

Park Sye-young

Director of Photography

Park Sye-young

Editor

Park Sye-young

Producer

Park Sye-young

More information

Dialogue

Korean

Countries of production

South Korea

Year

2022

Filmography

Park Sye-young
Cashbag (short, 2019), Godspeed (short, 2020), Between the Hotel and City Hall (short, 2020), The Gold Knife (short, 2021), Luxury Staycation (short, 2021), Vertigo (short, 2021), The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra (2022)

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