Take Care of My Cat
|Take Care of My Cat|
|Revised Romanization||Goyangireul Butakhae|
|Directed by||Jeong Jae-eun|
|Produced by||Oh Ki-min|
|Written by||Jeong Jae-eun|
|Music by||Park Gi-hyeon
|Edited by||Lee Hyun-mi|
|Distributed by||Cinema Service|
Take Care of My Cat (Hangul: 고양이를 부탁해; RR: Goyangireul Butakhae) is a 2001 South Korean coming of age film, the feature debut of director Jeong Jae-eun. It chronicles the lives of a group of friends — five young women — a year after they graduate from high school, showing the heartbreaking changes and inspiring difficulties they face in both their friendships and the working world.
In the dingy port town of Incheon, five friends attempt to make the difficult transition from high school to the adult world: Hae-joo, who is pursuing a career at a brokerage firm in Seoul; Tae-hee, who works at her family's sauna for free and volunteers as a typist for a poet suffering from cerebral palsy; Ji-young, a young artist who wanders between low-paying jobs while caring for her elderly grandparents; and twins Bi-ryu and Ohn-jo, who make their living selling handmade jewellery on the street.
Hae-joo immediately makes efforts to move up in the workplace, but finds that she is unable to progress much further without a university degree. Her friendship with Ji-young begins to deteriorate after she makes an insensitive comment about Ji-young's desire to study textile design and later returns a stray kitten given to her as a birthday present, reasoning that she has no time to look after it. Tae-hee tries to keep close ties with both of them, but Hae-joo's preoccupation with work and Ji-young's stubbornness causes a rift to form between the two. Tae-hee and Ji-young grow closer as a result, bonding over a shared dream of travelling overseas.
After the group sleeps over at the twins' house, Ji-young sneaks away at dawn to find that the roof of her house has collapsed, killing her grandparents. Refusing to co-operate with the police, Ji-young is taken to juvenile detention. Tae-hee visits her at the detention centre, where Ji-young reveals that she is reluctant to leave; with no home and no family she feels she has nowhere else to go. Tae-hee reassures her that whatever happens, they will always be friends.
Eventually, Ji-young is released from the detention centre to find Tae-hee waiting for her. Tae-hee reveals that she has run away from home, taking the money she is owed from working for her family and suggests that they travel together. The film ends with Tae-hee and Ji-young at the airport, leaving Incheon.
- Bae Doona as Yoo Tae-hee
- Lee Yo-won as Shin Hae-joo
- Ok Ji-young as Seo Ji-young
- Lee Eun-shil as Bi-ryu
- Lee Eun-jo as Ohn-jo
Though critically acclaimed in its native South Korea, the film's box office returns were not so great, prompting a 'Save the Cat' movement involving film industry professionals and Incheon residents to try to increase viewership before its theatrical run would be cut short. A campaign was also launched for a theater re-run.
Local filmmakers organized a festival to support the survival of films that hold fast to artistic significance and compromise commercial success (in the process come and go without much recognition). The title of the event, WaRaNaGo, came from the initial syllables of four 2001 movies － Waikiki Brothers, Raybang, Nabi ("Butterfly") and Goyangireul Butakhae ("Take Care of My Cat") － which all fared poorly in the box office.
The film won numerous awards at international film festivals, namely the NETPAC Award and New Currents Award Special Mention at the Pusan International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI Prize at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Best Picture award ("Golden Moon of Valencia") at the Cinema Jove Valencia International Film Festival, a KNF Award Special Mention in the competition section of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, among others. It was invited to the Young Forum section at the Berlin International Film Festival and was also theatrically released in Japan, Hong Kong, U.K and U.S.A.
- NETPAC Award
- New Currents Award - Special Mention
- Best Actress - Bae Doona, Lee Yo-won, Ok Ji-young
- Best Planning/Producer - Oh Ki-min
- Special Jury Prize - Jeong Jae-eun
- Best New Actress - Lee Yo-won
- 2002 Baeksang Arts Awards
- Best Actress - Bae Doona
- 2002 Korean Film Awards
- Best New Director - Jeong Jae-eun
- FIPRESCI Prize - Special Mention
- KNF Award - Special Mention
- 2002 Cinema Jove Valencia International Film Festival
- Golden Moon of Valencia (Best Film)
- "Take Care of My Cat". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- "Interview with Jae-eun Jeong: The Road that Crosses the World, Children Who Leave Home". Kino International. October 2001. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Park, Jeong-ho (7 October 2001). "Flashy, Rebellious and Ready for Stardom". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Seong, Tae-won (11 November 2001). "9 Lives? 'Cat' Lovers Want Just 2". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Cho, Woo-suk (8 November 2001). "Don't Let This Film Fade to Black". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Chun, Su-jin (4 January 2002). "New life for commercial orphan films". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Talking Architect". M-LINE Distribution. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- "Take Care of My Cat - Awards". Cinemasie. Retrieved 2012-12-04.