A wider audience for Korean films

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A wider audience for Korean films

Here is an appropriate Christmas gift for expatriates in Korea. A downtown Seoul theater is ready to start showing Korean films with English subtitles on a regular basis. Until now, foreigners wanting to see Korean films had to wait for months for a DVD to come out. And often, even DVDs do not have English subtitles, as was the case with “Bomnareun Ganda” (One Fine Spring Day). From tomorrow, however, Cine Core, an art house in Jongno, will be offering first-run Korean films with English subtitles. It is a joint effort with Seoul Selection, a cultural organization.
The first offering on the list is “Silmido,” a much-anticipated action drama based on a true story. A work of the renowned director Kang Woo-suk, “Silmido” features a group of Korea’s most talented actors as ill-fated agents, many of them felons, who are trained to infiltrate North Korea. They are told that if they succeed in cutting off the head of the North’s leader, Kim Il Sung, their criminal records will be wiped clean. They are told that if captured, they are to kill themselves. After rigorous training on Silmido, an island off the Korean coast, they are ready for action and their morale is high. Meanwhile, the North and South are in a mood for reconciliation, and that means the raison d’etre for the mission is vanishing.
One important point in this intense drama is the chemistry of the lead actors, who are recognized for their talent rather than good looks.
The movie will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Saturdays until Jan. 10. On Sundays until Jan. 11, the movie can be viewed at 4:00 p.m. Celebrating the holiday season, extra screenings are offered on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day at 4:00 p.m. and on Dec. 31 at 6:30 p.m.
The next English-subtitled movie to run, “Spirit of Jeetkunedo ― Once Upon a Time in High School,” is an action romance directed by Yu Ha, tentatively set to open on Jan. 16.
From Feb. 6, Kang Je-gyu, director of the landmark Korean film “Shiri,” is to present “Taegukgi,” a film based on the Korean War starring the country’s two heartthrobs, Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin, in leading roles as star-crossed brothers.
The last thing viewers need to worry about is whether the English subtitles are an authentic translation of the original. Yu Yeong-mi, a Seoul Selection staff member, said there is no need to be concerned. “We’ve paid more attention this time to ensure a good translation, so the quality of the subtitles is guaranteed.”


by Chun Su-jin

To reach Cine Core in Jongno, central Seoul, take subway line No. 1 to Jongno 3-ga Station and use exit 15. For further details, call Seoul Selection at (02) 734-9567 or Cine Core at (02) 2285-2096.
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