by Seung-Jae Lee
The Gwangju International Film Festival (GIFF), which includes an out-of-competition film section, will open its fourth gala this September. The film festival is known for introducing new, talented directors from around the world. At the festival, scheduled for September 2 to September 11, about 120 movies will be shown to audiences. It is expected to have synergy effects as the film festival synchronizes with the Gwangju Biennale 2004, which opens on September 10.
The opening film, "Loved Gun", by Japanese director Watanabe Kensaku, shows a romance between a young killer and his client, along with their despair, using atypical style that crosses different genres. The closing show, "Road", by Korean director Bae Chang-ho
, is a low budget artistic movie. The movie reflects the director's life as an artist in the main character's role, who leads a stubborn lifestyle living as a traveling marketer moving around the southern provinces of Korea.
At the fourth GIFF, special screening sections will catch the audiences' attention. The representative movies of cinemascope will be playing at the festival's most popular section, "The Golden Age of Wide Screens", such as "Doctor Zhivago", "Exodus", "The Good, the Bad and The Ugly", and "The Leopard". And at the retrospective section devoted to Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, who worked all by themselves at directing, writing scenarios, filming, and editing with the radical spirit of cinema aesthetetic, which ran opposite to the mainstream movies of their time that focused on creating spectacles. The audiences can watch 19 of their films, including "The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach".
Besides that, audiences can enjoy the "Retrospective Section of Kim-yeom in Shanghai", who was a Korean actor in China when Korea was colonized by Japan, and the works of the great master of modern cinema, Michelangelo Antonioni, at the special program "Masterpieces of Michelangelo Antonioni".
Among the main programs, the "non-fiction cinema" section, which was established last year, will show some grand films. The section deals with experimental and documentary movies, and this time, "Bright Leaves", and two other movies by Ross McElwee, who is famous for "personal cinema" (movies connecting social and political issues to personal and family histories), and the recent film of French documentary director Raymond Depardon, "The 10th District Court", will be shown at the festival.
Along with the opening movie "Loved Gun", the following films will also meet audiences in the "Young Cinema" section: "The Green Hat" by Chinese director Liu Fen Dou, "In the Battlefields" by Lebanese director Danielle Arbid, and "My Mother" by French director Christophe Honore.
In the meantime, Gwangju-born actress Moon Geun-young, who starred in "My Little Bride
", was selected as the GIFF's representative actor for publicity again this year.
Ticket prices are 10,000 won for opening and closing shows, and the rest are 5,000 won. Refer to the website (www.fiff.or.kr) for film schedules.