Yellow Door Plot Summary
Yellow Door: ’90s Lo-Fi Film Club is a new documentary on Netflix that takes us back to 1990’s South Korea, when there was a time of political and cultural shift going on in the country. It focuses on a group of friends who both have a passion for cinema and analyzing movies. One member of the group went on to gain major fame in the film industry: Bong Joon-ho.
The documentary is full of interviews with the original Yellow Door Film Group and archival footage of how they banded together to discuss cinema and even became what seems like an integral part of opening the flood gates to Korea having a great surge of movies being seen globally.
What was the Yellow Door Film Group?
The Yellow Door Film Group, later known as the Yellow Door Film Institution, was made up of a group of college friends in South Korea who came from all walks of life. Most of them weren’t even film majors, and yet they all had a passion for cinema. South Korea is not known for its film industry.
So a lot of the films they watched were bootlegs of classics from America and Europe. Many of the members of the group went on to other things in life, but one of the standout figures in the group was Bong Joon-ho, who would go on to win an Oscar recently for his acclaimed film, Parasite.
Why was the Yellow Door Film Group significant?
For starters, it was a small gathering of friends and people who loved films, analyzing the communication that was there between what was on the screen and its viewer. But as the decade went on, the South Korean film industry began to flourish.
And the Yellow Door Film Group became more of an organization of film screenings and had its own magazine. It was a major factor in a nation’s small film industry and helped explore cinema that had not been seen in South Korea before.
What was Bong Joon-ho’s first film?
Bong Joon-ho is a standout figure in this film for the success he would have as a filmmaker in the years after Yellow Door. He would go on to make films like Okja, Snowpiercer, and more recently, Best Picture winner Parasite. However, the documentary shows Joon-ho’s humble beginnings as a filmmaker.
In the movie, he buys a camcorder and decides to make a little stop-motion film called Looking for Paradise. He shot it in his basement. It looks mostly like what a lot of people’s first film would look like. As a matter of fact, if you don’t know if it was Bong Joon-ho’s first film, you’d think it was just some kid who picked up a camera because they were bored. It goes to show you that sometimes it doesn’t matter your skillset; sometimes you just need to start.
What happened to Yellow Door?
Yellow Door Film Club eventually disbands around the time that the South Korean surge of filmmaking blows up in the 1990s. The members lives begin to drift in different directions, and it’s clear that with the group breaking up. Many would make attempts at working in the industry, but some would just shift into different things. Yet, it is here that their passion for cinema is still present. They work the jobs that they land, but all still speak of their deep kinship to the medium.
Throughout the film, we see glimpses of a Zoom call with the group reuniting. And it ends with footage of everyone from the zoom call and text that reads where they are now.
Read More: Yellow Door Movie Review