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Film Directors Launch Campaign to Revive Cinematheques

2006/01/19 Source

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At a press conference held at Seoul Art Cinema ( Open the link ), a cinematheque, on Jan. 18 at 6:20 p.m., representative film aficionados of Korea, such as film directors Park Chan-wook, Kim Jee-woon, Ryu Seung-wan and Oh Seung-wook, raised their voices in an effort to "revive cinematheques".

The press conference was arranged to publicize a special film festival entitled "Friends of Cinematheques" to be held at Seoul Art Cinema (formerly Hollywood Theater) from Jan. 19 to 26. Following the press conference, an event called "Evening of Supporters for Cinematheques" was held.

Kim Sung-wook, a programmer of Seoul Art Cinema said, "We have screened about 1,150 films, including retrospective showings of 85 great directors' films over the past four years since 2002. As we have experienced financial difficulties in recent days, we have decided to plan the 'Film Festival of Friends of Cinematheques'."

The festival will screen films chosen by the "Friends of Cinematheques" as part of the support campaign. Besides those film directors who attended that day's event, the "Friends of Cinematheques" include nine others, including film director Kim Hong-joon, actor Hwang Jung-min, actress Moon So-ri, and film critics Chung Sung-il and Kim Young-il.

Film director Park Chan-wook said, "I was very envious of foreign cinematheques in the past. But it's a pity to see cinematheques fail to win wide-ranging popularity in Korea. If cinematheques close down, many film enthusiasts will surely regret it. I think we should do our best while they are still in existence. We should give as much support as possible to these theaters that we have established with so much difficulty".

Another film director, Kim Jee-woon, said, "When I was younger, I traveled throughout France for three months carrying only a backpack. I envied the French for their libraries, parks, and cinematheques. I watched about 100 films over two months. It was a really great experience. It occurred to me at the time that there were so many geniuses and films could be an art. I hope that our country will maintain decent cinematheques, so that we can boast about them to foreign film makers".

As a special event during the film festival, "Friends of Cinematheques" will watch films of their own choice along with viewers and have conversations with audiences afterward.

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