Art cinema’s closing credits (for now) roll this weekendThe film showing tonight through Sunday at Seoul Art Cinema is “Goodbye, Dragon Inn,” a 2003 film by the Malaysian director Ming-liang Tsai about a theater that’s about to close its doors.
There’s a reason that film was chosen: This is Seoul Art Cinema’s final weekend at its Sogyeok-dong location, in the basement of Artsonje Center.
The small arthouse theater, whose seating capacity is just over 200, has been an oasis for cinephiles since opening in May 2002. Last year, though, Artsonje Center informed the cinema’s organizers that its lease wouldn’t be renewed because renovations were planned for the building. The cinema will move to Hollywood Theater in nearby Insa-dong, where it is expected to reopen in May.
In its three years in Sogyeok-dong, the cinema screened more than 800 films by about 300 directors, and hosted a number of underground film forums.
Also to be screened this weekend are three films by the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder: “Fear Eats the Soul” (1974) “Querelle” (1982) and “The Marriage of Maria Braun” (1979). Fassbinder was the subject of the theater’s last retrospective.
The cinema’s organizers particularly recommend “Querelle,” the last film Fassbinder made before dying of a drug overdose; a story of homosexuality, murder, violence, betrayal and death, the film is considered by many to be a summation of the director’s style and themes. The other two films being screened are Fassbinder’s best-known, however. At 6 p.m. tonight, the cinema’s programmer, Kim Seong-uk, will give a lecture on Fassbinder’s films.
“Marriage” will be screened at 1:30 p.m. today; “Querelle,” at 4 p.m. today and 4 and 8 p.m. tomorrow; “Fear Eats the Soul,” at noon tomorrow; and “Goodbye, Dragon Inn” at 8 p.m. today, 2 and 6 p.m. tomorrow and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Korean and English subtitles will be provided for all four films.
by Chun Su-jin
Tickets for each screening are 6,000 won ($6). The cinema can be best reached from Anguk station, line No. 3, exit 1. Walk about 10 minutes in the direction of Jeongdok Library, and you’ll find the cinema in the basement of Artsonje Center. For more information, call (02) 720-9782 or visit www.cinematheque.seoul.kr.