100 Years of Korean Cinema, co-organized by Jeonju IFF and Korean Film Council to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Korean Cinema, introduces the Korean films that have not received enough attention during its 100-year history, or have a distinct historical value even though they are already known. The Flower in Hell is the oldest of the films to be screened, and shows that director Shin Sang-ok has not only been known as a master of commercial feature films of the genre, but also a realism-oriented director, and Bloodline by Kim Soo-yong is a Neo-realistic masterpiece that has not been noticed for a long time. The Empty Dream is a film reflecting the director Yu Hyun-mok's expressionistic imagination, but was not properly evaluated due to the issue of sensationalism at that time, and Homebound by Lee Man-hee shows that he can still be regarded as a pioneer of Korean modern cinema's narrative techniques. The General's Mustache by Lee Seong-gu is a film that can be remembered as a new milestone for the satirical genre in Korean film history, and The Ascension of Han-ne by Ha Gil-jong makes us guess the artistic aims of the misfortunate genius director who was unable to present all his film world.
Ieoh Island by Kim Ki-young has long been underestimated in the shadow of “The Housemaid” series, but it shows a conclusive work of the director's film world, and Jagko shows how director Im Kwon-taek thinks about Korean realism focusing on history and social reality. The Man with Three Coffins shows the profound cinematic scenes reflecting the authorial unconsciousness of Lee Jang-ho, and The Dream by Bae Chang-ho is a film that was undervalued at that time but reached the culmination of aesthetics in Korean cinema. A Single Spark by Park Kwang-su and A Petal by Jang Sun-woo are the masterpieces of two directors representing the generation of Korean New Wave that dug into the history and reality of Korea and established its own original forms.
The section Wild at Heart, designed to mark the 20th anniversary of the Jeonju IFF, presents the screening list filled with the films, planned and directed in the most freewheeling and provocative way by the ambitious directors, among the films produced in the 21st century. Most of the films listed in this section have not been commercially successful, but they are original works that can deeply inspire cineastes and audiences both now and in the future. The Foul King is one of the most original comedies in Korean film history, by director Kim Jee-woon before being recognized as a genre stylist in Korean film industry, and director Jang Joon-hwan's debut black comedy Save the Green Planet is an outstanding satirical film in absurd and uneven tones. Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary by Song Haeseong is a film exhibiting director's artistic ambition in terms of form and content among big budget films co-produced by Korea and Japan, and Blue Swallow by Yoon Jong-chan is a film that would have been appreciated if it did not meet a headwind of nationalism, moreover it is the late actress Jang Jin-yung's posthumous work. The President's Last Bang by Im Sang-soo, reexamining an important event of modern Korean history through plural frames, is a very demanding historical drama that is hard to make again, and So Cute is director Kim Su-hyun's debut film which has an unrestrained narrative reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels and is also a kind of film that is hard to produce in the current film industry in Korea.
In addition, Wild at Heart sheds new light on the following films: The Duelist by Lee Myung-se, showing an articulation of emotion and form to a high degree, Like A Virgin by Lee Hae-young and Lee Hae-jun, talking about the sexual-minority issue lightly with the narrative of popular films, Blossom Again by Jung Ji- woo, radically dissolving the form of melodrama and creating a wonderful lyricism, and The Yellow Sea by Na Hong-jin, a fearsome allegory about an evil capitalistic way for survival.
This special section screens the works of Roy Andersson, an acclaimed contemporary Swedish filmmaker, artist and photographer. Roy Andersson received little attention in Korea till now. This time, Jeonju IFF will have a chance to catch his previous films on the big screen and recognize the true value of his various reflections on humans. In addition to the director’s well-known works such as Songs From the Second Floor, You, the Living and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (the winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice International Film Festival), Andersson’s short films, including To Fetch a Bike, give a clear idea of his early interests. In particular, the young couple’s moments of hesitation and wanderings in the morning in To Fetch a Bike are evidences of the director’s distinctive fascination with people, not to mention his intention to express inherent human characteristics. He puts forward a truly acute vision of love, dream, emptiness and destruction among many other things. Thus, Andersson’s unique perspectives give rise to a series of unexpected sequences. The world found in his works offers a new vision of various dissonances pulled in together. Gergely Palos, a renowned cinematographer, who has been cooperating with Roy Andersson, visits Jeonju to meet with cineastes in Master Class.
Star Wars Archive: Never-ending Chronology is the second special focus followed by the Disney Legendary last year. Archiving project focuses on one topic such as film production, director, style and studio to record, preserve and reilluminate the subject. This year, we will present Star Wars series, the living legend of pop-culture.
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” If one were to write an article about Star Wars, it feels obligated to start with the series’ trademark prologue subtitles. Because Star Wars is a culture enjoyed by the entire world beyond just being a film.
There are interesting figures about the specific size of the “world.” Co-author of Nudge, Cass R. Sunstein revealed in his book The World According to Star Wars that the total revenues earned by the Star Wars franchise worldwide until early 2016 when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was still in theaters, was 30.2 billion USD. This figure fits in the middle of 193 countries in the world in terms of GDP, making Star Wars the myth of modern entertainment.
The start of the myth was a little depressing. When Star Wars creator George Lucas had the first preview of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope which had incomplete special effects, the reaction by participants was cold. “Why couldn’t you make it a little more artistic?” However, film critic Roger Ebert commented on the impact of the film after its release, “It has effectively end the golden ages of independent filmmaking which dominated the early 1970s and shifted the focus of film industry to large-scale special effect blockbusters.”
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs and-Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood written by Peter Biskind mentions that George Lucas thought of the idea of Star Wars since he always wanted to make a film that combined 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and James Bond Series. George Lucas was a big fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey but he was not fond of the ambiguous story. Therefore, he made Star Wars to create a new myth that even children could understand.
“Myth” is the most important keyword to explain the Star Wars series in many ways. To develop the Star Wars story, George Lucas studied all books on fantasy and mythology including The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The World According to Star Wars explains that George Lucas referred to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and dramatized the hero’s journey in space into a modern mythology which becomes the first trilogy of the Star Wars episode.
Star Wars series has a unique production timeline. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope , Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi was made prior to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Episode IV, V, VI deal with the battle between the stormtroopers led by Darth Vader and the Rebel Alliance with key members Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. Episode I, II, III deals with the transformation of Darth Vader as the love between Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala beyond the difference in social status fails. George Lucas said that Episode I, II, III was created later than Episode IV, V, VI because it required more advanced technology.
Fans of Star Wars say that Episode I, II, III which are heavily dependent on CG do not meet the appeal of Episode IV, V, VI. Star Wars, which does not rely on scientific reasoning, is closer to science ‘fiction’ as loud explosions happen in space in vacuum state and there are characters like anthropoid alien Chewbacca. Therefore, more people say that Episode IV, V, VI which depended on manual special effects are better suited to the world view of the series than the sophisticated CG.
This is supported by J.J. Abrams. He directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will direct the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX (2019, Working Title). He is the front-runner in the latest trilogy participating as a producer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi . Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a story about the First Order of the Empire looking for missing Luke Skywalker, Rey who is selected by the Force, reformed First Order Finn and Resistance pilot Poe. Through this film, J. J. Abrams has inherited the world view from the classic trilogy and manual production. As a result, he was able to attract both old and new fans and reinstated the modern Star Wars myth that lost force after Episode I, II, III.
Contemporary Star Wars fans go beyond watching the film and cultivate into their own culture and play. On opening nights, they gather in front of the theater in their favorite character costumes and create fanfiction culture through novels, animations, parody films, and toys to keep the long-lasting images of the film and cosmically expand the Star Wars territory. If the classic trilogy that led the pioneering spirit of the American West into a pop culture set in space was very American, Star Wars with additional episodes is now an international event with fans around the world.
There will be a special showing of the 8 episodes of Star Wars at the Jeonju International Film Festival. May the Force Be with You! [HUH Nam-woong]
VR cinemas using 360-degree visual images and interaction to experience time and space in different dimensions are emerging as a new issue in various film festivals. In addition to films, it has been expanded to many adjacent fields such as games, performances, broadcasting and sports. And various experiments and convergence have been taking place for many years. This year, Jeonju International Film Festival presents “VR Cinema: Sight in Front, Future Cinema” focusing on the cinematic immersive experience through the new media. Consisting of three programs, this special exhibition will present the exceptional Korean VR cinema and those that received attention abroad. International works include Send Me Home , a journey returning home of a young man who was unjustly imprisoned, Rone that follows the art world and exhibits of artist Rone, Kaiju Confidential, a comedy about monsters destroying the city, and 4 Feet: Blind Date, an Argentinian VR about a sexual experience of a paraplegic woman, which received great reviews from Venice Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival. Korean works include Ghost following a girl’s illusion, Horomaru , a horror experience of a haunted house, and 1 inch VR that explores the insect world from a little person’s perspective. Finally, Spheres Trilogy, one of the best VR films of last year, is the front line of VR Cinema that can stimulate all five senses by observing the birth of the universe and touching the planets. Spheres Trilogy will be showing at VR Theater 1, and VR Cinema 1 and VR Cinema 2 will be shown at VR Theater 2.
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