‘C’est Si Bon’ resurrects legendary music venue

Half a century ago in Mugyo-dong, central Seoul, stood the music hall C’est Si Bon, where young hearts and souls gathered at night to share their love of music, dance and talking.

Kim Hyun-seok’s upcoming movie, titled after the iconic venue, will expound on nostalgic feelings and introduce viewers to some of the main members of the arts house.

Rising star Jung Woo of megahit retro drama “Respond, 1994” plays fictional character Geun-tae who belatedly joins Twin Folio, a real-life band comprised of Yoon Hyung-joo and Song Chang-sik.

“I didn’t intend to join in the first place, but the scripts I picked happened to be all set in modern history,” said Jung at a press conference held Tuesday at the Apgujeong CGV in central Seoul.

His next work, “Himalaya,” also sees the actor going back in time.

Actress Han Hyo-joo plays Ja-young in the film, the neighborhood beauty queen who steals locals’ hearts with her irresistible charm and becomes the muse for the trio.

“Playing the muse character was so tempting, I have to admit,” said Han with a laugh.

“There were some challenges as well because I had to make having all that charm look very natural.”

Geun-tae serenades Ja-young several times, giving the audience an opportunity to hear famous old pop songs such as “I Will Give You Everything” and “Wedding Cake” reproduced on screen.

The burgeoning relationship between the couple fails because of misunderstandings and bad timing, but 20 years on the two meet again.

Established actors Kim Yoon-seok and Kim Hee-ae play the older versions of Geun-tae and Ja-young.

“While Jung depicts his love in a beautiful way, I show it more as a heartache, having not forgotten the same person for 20 years,” explained Kim.

There are questions surrounding the movie arising from critics because reproducing existing people in a fictional work can be a challenge.

“I didn’t try to represent the lives of these superstars in my movie. That would have been so stressful,” said the director.

“When writing the script, I considered their music as the protagonists and just used some parts of their lives as the film’s basis.”

Director Kim’s filmography includes lighthearted and crowd-pleasing rom-coms such as “Cyrano Agency” (2010) and “When Romance Meets Destiny” (2005).

“C’est Si Bon” rolls out next month in cinemas nationwide.

 
 
 
BY Jin Eun-Soo [jes@joongang.co.kr]
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