Past Lives
Past Lives

Past Lives of Celine Song 

Past Lives of Celine Song

Past Lives
Past Lives

This article contains spoilers

Once, my grandfather said, he dreamed in black and white. Then we had to explain the interesting fact that it was natural for his mental cinema to work this way when he was resting because he grew up watching only black and white movies.

Oh! Well, in “Past Lives” Nora’s husband revealed that he speaks Korean in his sleep, which means he dreams in Korean too.

Again, the explanation comes from childhood: Nora lived in South Korea with her parents until the age of twelve, when her family moved to Canada. But Nora’s connection to Korea goes far beyond the language she speaks in her dreams.

Twelve years after Nora Moon (Greta Lee) and her family moved to Canada, her childhood sweetheart Jung Hye Sung (Do Yoo) accidentally searches for her on the Internet. He actually looks for her, and she discovers – through an innocent pursuit – that he still thinks about her.

Nora, who is known as Na Young in Korea, begins talking to Hye Sung via Skype. They continue to talk for a while, but, feeling that they can no longer look each other in the eye, Nora ends their relationship. She later realizes that it wasn’t the end, just a hiatus.

After the next twelve years, Nora and Hye Sung begin to interact again. She lives in New York with her husband Arthur (John Macaro), with whom she not only shares an apartment but also writes for a profession. Now that Hye Sung can visit the Big Apple and see Nora, a few days off means reliving their past, present and future.

The title of the film justifies the dialogue that Nora speaks to Arthur when they first meet. The conversation is about a Korean word “in-yun”, which means “fate” or “desire”.

Every human interaction has “in-yun” – nothing happens without meaning – but only marriage has the highest level of “in-yun”: according to Koreans, two people need eight thousand destined relationships in past lives to get married.

During a writing workshop, Nora heard from the speaker that “some shortcuts cost a lifetime.” A few years earlier, Nora had heard from her mother, “When you give up, you lose things, but you gain them.

” When the young family decided to cross the world and move to Canada, as with every major decision, they had massive gains and losses. When Nora decides to marry Arthur – to get a green card, she won’t hide it – another difficult decision is made.

It was the moment when Hae Sang lost her, faced with the possibility of saving her, and she hesitated in silence filled with doubtful emotions.

We need to talk about numbers! On IMDB, the number eleven appears a few times in the film, and it is written that eleven mythically represents two people from each half of the same soul.

But the presence of twelve caught my attention: Nora left Korea when she was twelve, twelve years later she and Hae Sang began interacting again, and twelve years passed until they met in person. This number appears in many myths and beliefs: the 12 apostles, the 12 tasks of Hercules, the 12 knights of the round table, the 12 zodiac signs, and of course, the 12 months of the year.

At twelve o’clock the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, so that number is considered a symbol of climax. At twenty-four and thirty-six, Nora and Hae Sung are different versions of the same person who knew each other at the age of twelve, and their “real” versions are imprinted in each other’s minds.

Celine Song is the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay. Song drew from her own experiences making the film, and she got the idea for the script while sitting in a bar with her husband (who is also a writer) and childhood sweetheart.

It’s not just the opening scene that borrows vocabulary from real life: Celine moved from South Korea to Canada at a young age, then returned to the U.S. to pursue a writing career. Bada’s directorial debut was “Gatta Zaibungu.”

Nora admits that she feels more Korean when she’s with Hae Sung, but at the same time she is aware of the characteristics that set her apart from other Koreans as a woman living abroad. “E” is one of the eight thousand who will one day meet in the future.


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