Kelvin Kyung Kun Park takes a look at the “heroic age” of industrialism in 1960s South Korea and that of the contemporary modern ruins it has left behind.
A blend of stock footage and carefully shot modern-day scenes of massive industrial sites, A Dream of Iron has good intentions and wants to be stylistically interesting; however, the finished product comes out a little less than stellar, in fact it’s a little boring.
The comparison of worshiping massive whales and the massive structures built in modern society feels like a stretch and leaves for a documentary that tests the patience a little. The shots of industrial sites using molten iron and building humongous edifices are interesting and beautiful at first, but soon become repetitive.
The film’s saving grace is its fantastic score by Paulo Vivacqua, which blends classical music with industrial sound effects. Vivacqua manages to create something truly haunting and feels like something out of a horror film. It’s really phenomenal work and it’s unfortunate that the images backing the score are so unimaginative.
A Dream of Iron feels like something you would watch in a high school classroom, and other than its great score, is lacking a stylistic edge to make it stand out in a crowded genre.