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Film / Drunk on Women and Poetry

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Drunk on Women and Poetry (also titled Chihwaseon and Painted Fire) is a biopic of 19th century Korean painter Jang Seung-up a.k.a. Ohwon. It was directed by Im Kwon-taek, arguably the most famous filmmaker in South Korea, who had previously directed Chunhyang.

Ohwon was an anti-conformist who stubbornly followed his (often liquor-addled) vision of art, living a wandering life and eschewing official honors. In spite of that, he nonetheless rose to fame as the greatest painter of his time in Korea. The film depicts both his life and the social and political troubles that plagued Korea in the 19th century, and that would culminate with Japanese takeover.


Contains examples of:

  • Artistic Stimulation: Sex and liquor, alternatively or at the same time.
  • The Casanova: Ohwon is a serial womanizer who likes to shack up with a prostitute, then move on to the next one.
  • Drunken Master: Ohwon often paints under the influence of alcohol.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Several of them drift in and out of Ohwon's life, or rather, he drifts in and out of theirs.
  • How We Got Here: The story begins as Ohwon is at the height of his fame, then goes back to his childhood.
  • Ill Girl: The only woman Ohwon had feelings for who wasn't a prostitute was a delicate upper-class girl with a chronic health condition and who died at a young age.
  • No Body Left Behind: To explain Ohwon's mysterious disappearance, the movie shows him deliberately entering a potter's oven and being burnt to ashes.


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