VIFF 2013 review: 9 Muses of Star Empire

(South Korea)

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      Hey, the Monkees were thrown together, too, but more than materialism drove that foursome to amuse the public. The nine girls followed here—chosen to justify their rather arbitrarily named K-pop outfit—are just teenage dreamers who don’t know what they’re in for. Hopes of glory are quickly dashed by mostly male “managers” who cajole, berate, and otherwise humiliate them into shape, revealing values more militaristic than muse-minded. A fascinating glimpse into ways youthful fun can be turned into a kind of banal horror.

      Vancity Theatre, September 30 (9 p.m.); International Village, October 1 (4 p.m.); Cinematheque, October 9 (9:15 p.m)