World Cinema, which introduces films of various genres from around the world, is a crucial section that serves as the backbone of the JEONJU IFF’s programs. This year, World Cinema will feature a total of 23 titles, four more than the previous year.
First up is Laurent Cantet’s latest film Arthur Rambo. Cantet is a veteran filmmaker, whose film Human Resources (1999) was screened in the inaugural JEONJU IFF and Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang (2012) opened the 14th edition. Arthur Rambo is a film based on a true story of a popular, promising writer who loses everything overnight due to the hate-filled messages he had posted to social media before he rose to fame. For the first time in years, Lee Sang-il, a third generation Korean-Japanese filmmaker based in Japan, will also present his new film Wandering, based on the novel The Wandering Moon by Nagira Yuu. Cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo’s wonderful visual images will particularly impress the audience. Another Japanese filmmaker, Yoshino Kohei, will showcase ANIME SUPREMACY!, which tells an interesting story about two animated films in fierce competition.
Official Competition, directed by two Argentine filmmakers, begins with a wealthy businessman deciding to produce a film to make a name for himself by hiring Lola (Penélope Cruz), a prominent director who swept awards at International film festivals to direct the film. In this movie, the audience will be able to enjoy the performance of not only Penélope Cruz, but other actors such as Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. Another Argentine film The Middle Ages depicts a family in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four Journeys, which opened the 2022 Intl. Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, is an intensely personal film about the director’s journey to find his roots after he was adopted abroad due to China´s one-child policy. In addition, World Cinema presents a variety of Asian films, including Leonor Will Never Die from the Philippines, Barbarian Invasion from Hong Kong, Virgin Blue from China, and Hit the Road from Iran.
Several music-related titles featuring musicians of various genres will also be screened this year, including the biopic of Ignacio Corsini, a legendary tango musician who was also the rival of Carlos Gardel, a prominant figure in tango history; Cesária Évora, a moving documentary on the world-famous singer of the same name from the West African island country of Cape Verde; Listening to Kenny G, which shows a multifaceted picture of Kenny G, one of the best-selling musicians of the time and the most famous jazz musician in existence; and Oscar Peterson: Black + White, a documentary about the life and music of Oscar Peterson, the most widely known jazz pianist alongside Bill Evans.
Written by Programmer CHUN Jinsu
In 1988, a novel by a Czech writer who had previously been completely unknown to South Korean readers exploded onto the publishing world. Milan Kundera´s masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being was made into a film by Philip Kaufman and released in Korea under the title The Prague Spring. The publishing house that first introduced Kundera´s works to Korean readers became the second, only after a French publishing house, in the world to produce a 15-volume, complete collection of his works in 2013, twenty-five years after the film’s release.
As a writer who gained immense popularity in Korea, Milan Kundera is widely known for his profound knowledge of music under the influence of his musicologist and pianist father. Kundera is also well-known to have studied literature and aesthetics at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University but soon transferred to the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Upon graduation, he taught literature at the same school, and had a great influence on the Czech New Wave filmmakers, including Miloš Forman and Agnieszka Holland. Not only that, but he was also directly involved in performing arts and visual arts, writing scripts for films and plays.
The documentary Milan Kundera: From the Joke to Insignificance, produced in 2022, is an intriguing film that explains the life and artistic world of this world-famous artist with a rich collection of rare materials. In highlighting this film, I wanted to create an opportunity to screen the films based on his novels and creative scenarios that were introduced in the documentary itself, and so three such films from the 1960s will be shown at this year’s World Cinema section. The 1965 film Nobody Gets the Last Laugh is an adaptation of Kundera´s short story and the directorial debut by Hynek Bočan, who studied under Milan Kundera at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. The Joke, a 1968 film directed by Jaromil Jireš, shows the irony in which a silly joke made in a gloomy era leads to a joker’s tragic fate. Also adapted from Milan Kundera´s short story, the 1969 film I, Distressing God expresses Kundera´s unique brand of absurdity and wit, as well as revenge and paradox.
Although literature and cinema are already closely related, we hope that the screening of these three films from the 1960s and the documentary on Kundera will provide an opportunity for the audience to see that literature is much more cinematic in the world of Milan Kundera´s work.
Written by Programmer CHUN Jinsu
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