At Puchon Festival, If It's Not Hot, It's Not on the Screen

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At Puchon Festival, If It's Not Hot, It's Not on the Screen

The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival raises its curtain Thursday and runs for nine days. Thirty-five countries have submitted 139 works - six fewer films than last year, but the films come from five more nations. The Puchon festival emphasized short movies and extreme fantasy in past years. This year, however, the executive committee decided to branch out to a wider variety of genres such as family, action, adventure and Internet movies.

Other film festivals might have more popular films, but at Puchon, you can be one of the first to spot a hot new film, style or director.

The festival will open with "Requiem for a Dream" (2000) by American director Darren Aronofsky. The film is filled with wild stylistic techniques, yet Aronofsky does not let them get in the way of the story. He portrays various types of addicts - drug addicts, TV addicts and diet addicts - as the victims of post-modernity. If you are enjoy this film's experimental style, be prepared for more of it - Aronofsky is also directing the upcoming "Batman: Year One" movie, to be released next year.

"Amelie from Monmartre" (2001) by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and "Sorum" by Yoon Jong-chan will be screened for the closing ceremony.

Jeunet is best known for the films "Delicatessen" (1991) and "The City of Lost Children" (1995) that he co-directed with Mark Caro, as well as his solo and Hollywood debut, "Alien 4: Resurrection" (1997).

The thriller "Sorum" ("Gooseflesh") (2001) is Yoon's first feature-length movie. "Sorum" is about an idealist who moves into an apartment where a novelist was murdered 35 years ago, and a woman who is habitually beaten up by her husband. The director has drawn the attention of critics with several short films.

There will be two special retrospectives, one on King Hu and one on Choo Song-woong. As a director, Hu featured scenes of traditional Beijing opera and landscapes. King Hu was been called "a poet, a painter and a philosopher" by director John Woo, and Ang Lee said his works are a "culmination of Chinese culture through the world of the swordsman". Five of his films will be screened, including "A Touch of Zen" (1971) and "The Valiant Ones" (1975).

Choo Song-woong was a professional theater actor who died in 1985 at age 44. His son and daughter, also professional actors have prepared a tribute to their father. In addition, a review of Choo's most famous work, "Red Peter's Confession," based on a novel by Kafka, will be on view.

Other significant films include "Battle Royal" (2000) by Kinji Fukasaku, "Terror Firmer" (2000), "Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV" (2000) by Lloyd Kaufman and "Tears of the Black Tiger" (2001) by Wisit Sasanatieng.

For a detailed English-language schedule and to find out which films have English subtitles, please visit www.pifan.or.kr/english/pifan2001/movieinfo_01_01.html. Shuttle buses to the various theaters will be running from Songnae subway station on line number 1.

by Shin Yong-ho

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