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[HanCinema Korea's Diary] Cinematheque / Seoul Art Cinema

2011/04/02 Source

Seoul Arts Cinema (Cinematheque) is located in Insadong and offers moviegoers ample opportunities to engage in global and local cinema. It's a fantastic non-profit cultural resource that is available to all and loved by local and travelling cinephiles.

There are fifteen cinematheques under the Korea Association of Cinematheques and they attract people from all backgrounds, ages, and groups. It's a hub of film enthusiasts that enjoy engaging in cinema and sharing their thoughts on it. Korean directors frequently make an appearance to share their filmmaking philosophies as well as comment and take questions on their films. Being able to interact with filmmakers is a wonderful opportunity that is often just not possible. Hearing a director or producers' thoughts on their work often reveals and ignites new interests and perspectives and the Seoul Art Cinema provides just that.

The cinema house also provides a wide array of educational material and services. The Cinematheque in Insadong has a small book lounge with reference material and readings for those who believe that "the more you know, the better it gets". In addition they also operate the "Small School at the Movie Theatre" which is a program "designed to introduce students to the joys of films and cinematography", which is a fantastic initiative.

The cinema is also visited by groups of students who come to watch and discuss films. The culture of active film viewing is definitely encourage here and with so many links and channels being offered into the world of cinema, Seoul Art Cinema should be passed over.

And for English speakers, the Seoul Art Cinema has monthly screenings of a few Korean films with English subtitles; a gem as the availability of English subbed Korean films can be problematic. But its great to know that there is somewhere to stop by and become engaged in the local film culture. To find out what films are showing with subtitles, visit their website (, Korean only unfortunately) or just simple stop by and pick up an brochure with the months screenings and information about upcoming events and festivals.

Some of the films showing this month with English subtitles are "Re-encounter", "Evil Spirit ; VIY", "Come, Closer" and "Passerby #3". All of which should definitely worth a watch. I wish I had discovered this cinema house sooner, so in writing this I hope that those among you interested in cinema in all its shapes and colours to take a trip to Insadong and become engaged in the magic.

-Christopher J. Wheeler

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