The conference focuses on one principal characteristic of contemporary Korean cinema: Korean cinema’s reliance upon excessive affective responses from the viewer. According to some scholars, the emotional payoffs in classical Hollywood cinema are the by-products of compelling, causally-tight storytelling. Contemporary Korean cinema seems to offer a counterexample. From the so-called “Asian Extreme” cinema of Kim Ki-duk’s sensationalist films to Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy, from popular genre films to Korean TV mini-series dramas such as Winter Sonata, priority seems to be given to the maximizing of affective responses and the evoking of excessive emotions rather than to the telling of a coherent story. This panel aims to engage critically with the aesthetic significance of such a trend and examine some of the ways in which visceral, intense emotions are produced in contemporary Korean cinema. We hope to explore the following issues: the depiction of the extraordinary situations and circumstances in which characters find themselves; the interrelated-ness of excessive violence, narrative twists and ruptures, and tonal shifts; and externalized character psychology as manifest in mise-en-scène.