[ENTERTAINMENT]Golden Oldies Haven't Lost That RadianceBecause interest in Korean films is growing at home and abroad, many in the industry are looking back at the roots of moviemaking here.
Next week, Seoul's Artsonje Center, a gallery and venue for screening independent films, will team with the organizers of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival to host "The Golden Age of Korean Cinema." The event includes "A Dream" ("Kkum" in Korean), a 1967 film by Shin Sang-ok, an icon of Korean filmmaking during the past 50 years.
"One of our goals is to create a gateway for people to watch traditional Korean movies," said Kim Hong-joon, director of the Bucheon festival.
Running from Sunday to Wednesday, "The Golden Age of Korean Cinema" will screen seven old films. Six of the films will then be shown at Sohyanggwan theater in Bucheon, a city southwest of Seoul, Saturday and Sunday. The festival will explore four areas: ghost stories, dreams, science fiction and thrillers.
Though the films lack subtitles, non-Koreans may find it worthwhile to attend because some of the movies are quite rare and offer a sometimes humorous, sometimes touching look into the Korea of decades past.
The oldest film of the show is "The Housemaid" ("Hanyeo"), made in 1960 by Kim Gi-yeong. A composer is having an affair with his maid, who expresses her enmity against the wife, only to be rebuked by her lover. Then the maid asks him if he would die for love. The wife, though oblivious of the illicit affair, decides to fire the maid. In anguish, the man and the maid commit a double suicide. Showtime is Monday at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
"Dream" ("Kkum"), something of a remake of Shin's 1967 film, is one of the latest movies to be shown. This 1990 release by Bae Chang-ho involves a monk, Jo Sin, who abducts a noble lady, Dal-rye. She is resigned to living with the monk and bearing his children, but she withholds her heart. In time she becomes a prostitute while Sin finds escape in opium. Years later, Sin learns that his love died in a leper colony.
Seeking redemption, Sin returns to his temple. He falls in front of a Buddhist shrine － and wakes up from his dream. Showtime is Monday at 7:30 p.m. Shin's "A Dream," also about Jo Sin, will be shown Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Highlights also include "A Public Cemetery of Wol-ha" ("Wol-haui Gongdongmyoji") by Gwon Cheol-hwi. A geisha, Wol-ha, marries into aristocracy. But the stepmother of her husband, Kim Han-su, and the kitchen maid plot her demise. Showtime is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
"Monster Wangmagwi" ("Ujugoein Wangmagwi") by Gwon Hyeok-jin is a 1960s sci-fi movie. Wangmagwi, an alien, inflicts havoc, as Korea deploys all its forces to overcome the evil would-be conqueror. Showtime is Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
For more information, call 02-733-8945.
by Joe Yong-hee