[EDITORIALS]Bravo, Mr. Im!The director Im Kwon-taek has finally written a new chapter in the history of Korean film. At the Cannes Film Festival, one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world, Mr. Im received a best director award Sunday for his movie "Chihwaseon." The honor was a first in the history of Korean film. The award brings great recognition to the level of movie production in Korea, an industry that now ranks seventh worldwide in market volume.
The reason we particularily appreciate the award given to Mr. Im at Cannes is because the best director honor is usually given not just for appreciating an individual movie but for the general level of the movie industry where the movie originates. Since the 1980s, Mr. Im has directed "Ssibaji," "Sopyeonje," "Taebaek Sanmaek" and "Chunhyang" with the conviction that Korean cinematic words could eventually reach the Western world as long as he stuck to Korean elements in his movies.
"Chihwaseon" beautifully captures the story of the troubled 19th-century Korean artist Jang Seung-eop. The film is like a painting. We think the recognition of the movie by the world will play a major role in boosting the confidence of the Korean film industry.
The Korean film industry has greatly improved since the 1980s due to an increased interest from movie viewers. Since Mr. Im's film "Mandala" competed for a prize in the Berlin Film Festival in 1981, Korean directors such as Jang Sun-woo, Kim Ki-duk and Park Chan-wook have knocked on the doors of the world's prestigious film festivals, in Berlin, Venice and Cannes. In fact, at the Venice Film Festival, Kang Soo-yeon received a best actress award for her role in "Ssibaji" in 1987. Since then, we have watched other Korean actors, producers and directors win awards each year at various film festivals. This is proof that the increased number of moviegoers in Korea will not soon disappear. With a growing popularity, a rise in artisitc quality and less reliance on Western movie techniques, the Korean film industry has never been brighter.