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50 Years of Korean Cinema to Screen

2003/12/22 | 169 views | Permalink | Source

Spanning over half a century of Korean film history, a comprehensive retrospective of local feature films will take place in Seoul next month. And the good thing is you won't need to speak Korean to take part in the event.

Titled "Panorama: 50 years of Korean Cinema", the festival will screen 54 domestic movies from 1954 to the present with English subtitles at Hollywood Cinema in Chongno-gu, downtown Seoul from Jan. 1 to Jan. 15.

"The reason why I first thought of holding this kind of big movie festival is so simple. I just wanted to share the opportunity to enjoy Korean films with as many people as possible", Joen Young-taek, programmer of the retrospective.

Though the festival is mainly for Korean moviegoers, Joen said that introducing Korean film history to an international audience was a big reason for organizing the event. English interpreters will be on hand for question-and-answer sessions with directors and actors that will take place throughout the festival.

The festival is the second largest retrospective of domestic films, after the 1993 retrospective in France, which showed 85 Korean films. The event will screen commercially successful films and works by such art directors as Hong Sang-soo of "The Power of Kangwon Province" (1997) and Kim Ki-duk of "Bad Guy" (2002).

The first eight days of the festival will present renowned domestic movies from the past 50 years, starting from "The Hand of Destiny" from 1954 to "Ogu" from this year.

"The Hand of Destiny", directed by Han Hyeong-mo, is remembered as the first domestic film with a kiss scene, while Lee Yun-taek's "Ogu" presents a humorous and contemporary look at "mudang (Korean shamans)".

From Jan. 9 to Jan. 11, in a section titled "Big Hits", organizers will show the top box-office films, including "Friend", Kwak Gyeong-taek's award-winning film from 2001 that was seen by more than 8 million people and still holds the local box-office record.

Other films screening in the section are "Madame Freedom" (1956), "The Young with Naked Foot" (1964), "Love Me Once Again" (1968), "Winter Woman" (1977), "Seopyeonje" (1993), and "JSA - Joint Security Area" (2000).

In a section "Korean Cinema in Variety", which will take place from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, films that may not have been commercially successful but nevertheless show an interesting perspective on Korean life, will be screened.

The section "Love Stories" will be presented Jan. 14 and, as one can guess from the section's title, the movies will show how Koreans depict and interpret the meaning of love, a typical yet always intriguing subject.

On the last day, the festival will end with films that specifically deal with Korean traditions. Director Im Kwon-taek's "Seopyeonje" (1993), a tragic film about how the lives of pansori (Korean traditional song) performers changed after Korean War, and "Mulberry" (1985), a story of miserable life of a woman during the Japanese occupation, are among the films to show in the section.

Night screenings will be offered Jan. 3 and Jan. 10, with complimentary hot beverages available for guests.

In addition, various traditional performances and exhibits will take place on the square in front of the theater and on streets near the theater in Insa-dong during the festival period.

Films will start daily at 10:30 a.m. Ticket prices range from 4,000 won for early-morning shows and 6,000 won for late-evening screenings. For those who want to see several movies, special tickets are also available priced from 25,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 745-0519 or go to Open the link

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