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Short Films Think Tall

2007/06/24 Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

Though running as briefly as six minutes, short films show that size is not a factor for capturing the limitless power of imagination. Andre Bazin, film critic and founding father of the French New Wave, called short films "the film of the future".

As the 6th Mise-en-scene's Genre Film Festival (MGFF) takes off in central Seoul June 27-July 3, more than 60 short films will shake the earth and paint the sky pink. The festival will celebrate unique works that go beyond national borders and "Beyond the Barrier of Genres", befitting its slogan.

First organized in 2002 by Director's CUT, a committee of young directors celebrated both in Korea and international circles, the festival aims to support rising new cinematic talent.

This year, 10 of Korea's greatest young directors teamed up to curate the festival and chose 60 innovative and stylish films for the national competition. Challenging conventional film genres, the works are roughly grouped as City of Sadness, Short Film about Love, King of Comedy, Extreme Nightmare or 40,000 Blows.

Directors Lee Hyun-seung ("Il Mare", 2000) and Park Chan-wook ("Vengeance" trilogy, 2002-2005) head the committee respectively as chair and vice-chair.

Other committee members include cinematic icons Kim Seong-su ("Please Teach Me English", 2003), Heo Jin-ho ("Christmas in August", 1998), Kim Jee-woon ("A Bittersweet Life", 2005), Oh Seung-wook ("Kilimanjaro", 2002), Song Hae-sung ("Failan", 2001), Lee Jae-yong ("Dasaepo Naughty Girls", "Dasepo Girl" 2006), Kim Dae-seung ("Trace of Love", 2006), Bong Joon-ho ("The Host", 2006), Jang Joon-hwan ("Save the Green Planet!" 2003), and Ryoo Seung-wan ("The City of Violence", 2006).

Heartthrob Jung Woo-sung ("A Moment to Remember", 2004) stars as himself in one of the Short Films about Love, where a teenage girl dreams about the actor. In 2002, "Love' b", directed by Jeong, was the opening piece for the festival.

"Moving Self-Portrait" (2007) will inaugurate the event on Wednesday night. It is a collage of 30-second clips created by the directors participating in the competition. Viewers can explore various aspects of filmmaking, such as the fine line between `filming' and `being filmed'.

Outside of the competition, the festival will screen 16 foreign works bemusedly categorized as "Between Laughter and Sneer" or "Superheroes: Our Twisted Heroes".

"True Love" (2006) from Canada by Adam Brodie and Dave Derewlany, shows that relationships can be easier than you think and will make you laugh or sneer, or both perhaps. A gun-toting cupid forces two randomly selected people into a "shotgun wedding" and domesticated life in the suburbs.

Another opening piece, "Sushi Japan" (2005) by Kenji Tanaka, is probably the only movie in the world that combines raw fish with the Western genre. The director hopes to evoke thoughts like "something new" and "impossible to happen" in viewers.

Moviegoers can also tune into domestic out-of-competition programs. In "Seoul Short Film Festival Retrospective", award-winning short films will relive their glory days since the Seoul Short Film Festival ended 10 years ago.

"Cine-Nomad: Foreign Students Make Films in Korea" presents works by international students that offer their unique perspectives of contemporary Korean society.

The Mise-en-scene's Genres Film Festival has partnered for the first time with the New York Asian Film Festival, currently underway until July 8 in the United States. New Yorkers can see award-winning shorts from last year's festival, such as "A Talented Boy, Lee Jun-seop" (2001) by Shin Jane, the only winner of the MGFF Grand Prix.

Tickets for all movies cost 3,000 won except for opening and closing films (5,000 won) and night screenings (7,000 won). Tickets can be purchased on the site at multiplex theater CGV Yongsan, located near Yongsan train and subway stations in central Seoul, or online at Open the link.

Many of the Korean language films in the national competition pool have English subtitles. Visit the festival's Web site Open the link for a complete screening schedule and more information, or call (02) 927-5696.

To learn more about the New York Asian Film Festival, visit Open the link.

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