Minu Jun’s latest film, ID Chamber.
Commentary from sister Somi Jun: Minu asked me to write this commentary, maybe to give an outside perspective on what the film is about, or maybe because he has done several Tunnel pieces before and was not down for another interview (see more of Minu’s work here: Minu on Tunnel)
I watched Minu work on this film for over 3 months. He spent about $300 producing it, a remarkably small sum for a 9 minute film, but relatively high compared to Minu’s other works. He creates unforgettable films that are fleshy, colorful, disgusting, beautiful, visceral, from a budget of almost nothing, because he makes it all himself. The masks, the giant genitalia, the corn syrup blood, the robe of dismembered stuffed animals– Minu spent late nights and weekends making it all by hand. It’s not always easy to live with, and it’s never easy to work with (especially for the actors), but somehow, he pulls all these pieces together to create something crazy like ID Chamber. And when this happens (it almost always does), part of me is super proud to have been involved with such a production, and to be related to such a hard-working, messy artist.
Based on some conversations with Minu, the original script, and my short cameo in the film, this is my commentary on ID Chamber:
ID Chamber follows a hero (Alex Hardy, Milo Mitchell, Harper Paradowski) through a surreal rite of passage. This hero is the type you can easily root for, the type you expect to prevail: young, healthy, dressed in a stuffed animal loincloth. He epitomizes the ideal of youth and the tendency of our culture to romanticize the plight of the teenager.
As part of his rite of passage, he battles a monster made of giant genitalia. The hero dies. Without any sentimental meaning, the hero is dashed into a gory, bloody mess. He is stripped of his grand cloak of polyester fur. His body is brought into a circle of chanting onions, and the crux of the film begins: the Teen Queen monologue.
The Teen Queen is “the worst of the worst. The most vapid, insecure, Teen Queen you will ever meet.” She is the opposite of the hero, and the reality of youth: we are hateful, disgusting, insignificant, jealous, untalented. She rails about Minu Jun, about repetitive social media campaigns that teens participate in out of a misplaced sense of purpose, about uninspired but celebrated art. The Teen Queen is terrible, she is not special nor extraordinary, she is super disgusting. She is fascinating and funny in her grossness. There is beauty in her disgusting promise to “guzzle the collective pus of Minu Jun’s acne encrusted face.” Basically, the Teen Queen is a much more accurate representation of youth than the healthy hero. And she is the only one with a voice in the film.