Directed by Jeong Brothers (2007, 98min)
Split between the height of the Japanese colonial period and the last days of Park Chung Hee’s “Yusin” regime, Epitaph screens the horror and violence of the return of repressed personal and political pasts. Intensely haunting but elegantly subdued, the film marks the debut of the Jeong Brothers and gives testament to both their erudition and inventiveness with the horror genre.
Save the Green Planet
Directed by Jang Joon-whan (2003, 118min)
A young worker’s megalomania to save the earth from alien attacks leads to an unheard-of nonsensical apocalypse through a comic-tragic pell-mell. This SF fantasy also acts out and works through sociopolitical traumas with its extreme B-movie sensibility. Probably the best debut feature that Korean cinema has ever produced; the 2003 best film selected by Korean weekly Cine21.
After the screenings, the lectures will be conducted in Room 208.
Forged by Genre: The Radical and Local Visions of Contemporary Korean Films Sohyoun Kim - Visiting Fellow, Yale University
An overview of contemporary Korean cinema with emphases on its genre-oriented tendencies and generational differences, this lecture explains the shift after the mid-1990s from Korean cinema’s direct reference to social issues to genre-mediated constructions, and its ethical implications.
Translating Terror: South Korean Horror Films
Steven Chung - Assistant Professor, Princeton University
This lecture examines the historical formation of “Asian horror” as a film genre and considers the position of recent Korean cinema in that process. Focusing on A Tale of Two Sisters and Epitaph, the talk poses questions about the commercial and cultural stakes of regional cinematic traffic as well as about the boundaries of national form.
*followed by a reception in Room 108*
“Forging and Translating Genre”: Contemporary Korean Cinema in (Trans-) National Contexts
Perhaps the most defiant fortress against Hollywood has recently been constructed in South Korea, and its cinematic geopolitics has allowed Korean cinema to mix commercialism and auteurism in unique ways. Among distinctive characteristics of this success is young cineastes’ active and creative reliance on genre conventions. Screening four remarkable films, this special event introduces two scholars who examine how Korean cinema has forged various genres in the national context, and how it has specifically translated the horror genre in the East Asian context.
Epitaph & Save the Green Planet; screenings follwed by lectures on Korean film