Though South Korea’s hardly produced a better-seen, more-beloved auteur, Lee Chang-dong hasn’t been quite so represented as the reputation suggests. Thus the work of restoring his earlier films is a major necessity and all the more reason to celebrate Film Movement’s forthcoming releases of his feature debut, 1997’s Green Fish, and 2002’s Oasis, screening as part of Metrograph’s retrospective “Novel Encounters: the Films of Lee Chang-dong,” running from April 5 to April 28. Ahead of this momentous occasion we’re pleased to exclusively present trailers for both.

If, on the good chance you’re not familiar with either, here are synopses for Green Fish and Oasis, respectively:

Already established as a novelist and playwright, Lee made the leap to the director’s chair with this spectacularly assured first feature, a scourging commentary on South Korean society dressed up in film noir trappings, focused on a freshly demobbed young man (Han Suk-gyu) who, after throwing in his lot with the local mob, finds himself in hot water when he starts an affair with his boss’s girlfriend. One of the more auspicious debuts in the history of South Korean cinema and a hit with audiences and critics alike, with Han’s improvised telephone booth monologue having achieved nothing less than iconic stature. New York and US Theatrical Premiere.

Jong-du (Sul Kyung-gu), just out of prison, very little reformed, and shunned by his family, finds an unlikely soulmate in the person of Gong-ju (Moon So-ri), a woman with severe cerebral palsy—and the daughter of the victim of the hit-and-run for which he was jailed—who’s kept cloistered in a meager apartment by her brother, who cares only for the government assistance she brings in. Without a place in a cruelly judgmental society, the couple increasingly take shelter in fantasy in Lee’s magical realism-inflected third feature, an enormously affecting work about love’s blossoming in the least promising of terrains. New York and US Theatrical Premiere.

Trailers are below:

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