Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cinema on the Park Season 2 coming your way!

In what is clear self promotion, I am doing a short post about the film night I host in Sydney called Cinema on the Park. Its a free weekly Korean film night, so if you happen to read my blogs on Korean cinema and are based down under please try and come along. It would be great to develop the dialogue around Korean film in this country, something that has long been ignored.

It wasn't easy trying to encapsulate the many fascets of Korean film in 1 program, but I think we managed to do it. From art house directors Lee Chang-dong, Hong Sang-soo, Im Sang-soo and Kim Ki-duk, to the mainstream masters of Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Kim Ji-woon, Na Hong-jin and Ryoo Seung-wan. From some of the most successful female directors in Im Soon-rye, Lee Jeong-hyang and Park Chan-ok, to those classic men that ruled in the early days before the Korean wave Kwak Kyung-taek and Kang Je-kyu. To a man who has lead Korean film in the Oceania region Park Ki-yong, to the most prominent Korean director ever, Im Kwon-taek, we have it all! And that's just the first half of the year!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The History of Korean Cinema .... on screen

The fact of the matter is, outside of Korea, Korean cinema is still a very 'new' thing. Generally most people may have seen your Oldboy's and My Sassy Girl's but outside of that the earliest film that those in the West will have likely seen would probably be JSA (2000) or Shiri (1999). This puts Korean cinema in an interesting position of only being around 14 years old (15 using the Korean birthday system!). For a national cinema so young, it really has come along leaps and bounds, but the more interesting thing to me is what was it like before this point.

Does anyone know who the fuck this chick is and what she 
has to do with Shiri? I still can't figure it out!

We produced a video montage in the lead up to the film festival last year (KOFFIA), which covered a short history of Korean cinema. It proved to be very popular upon release, both with local and international audiences. It was rare to see coverage of films prior to this BH date (BH: Before Hallyuwood). It was beautifully edited by Kevin Park and with an equally delightful score by Samuel Choi, both who were just beginning to ply their trades. I thought I would reproduce it here on the blog as it really deserves to get as much exposure as possible. And yes, even it reflects the state of Korean cinema exposure, given only 6 films featured were released before the BH point, and 10 after it. But it gives a short glimpse into the history and progress the Korean industry has made, and maybe one day an extrapolated version would be produced by others fans around the world. Check it out below!

'The History of Korean Cinema', Thanks Kevin and Sam

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Inside Out Busan: Live on the Radio!

While travelling to my first Busan International Film Festival in 2011, I received a request to take part in a local radio interview (Thanks for the recommendation, Darcy!). Basically the show had heard I was in town and that I was researching about Korean film and Korean film downunder, and swiftly hooked me up with an interview. After days of rescheduling, it was my time to take the plunge!

As the station's slogan suggests, it is covering the "English wave" coming in to Korea, rather intriguing given that I was researching the "Korean wave" coming in to English speaking territories. While a 30 minute live interview was daunting, and finding the station in the ever darkening sky of Busan by myself was a major challenge, I made in on time and had a blast.