A film festival devoted to musicians and music“Movies on Stage, Music on Fire” is the Zen catchphrase of a new international film event in Korea, a festival that introduces films showing the lives of musicians and songs by musicians that are increasingly included in film soundtracks.
It’s no coincidence that such film events are being hosted in a country where dozens of soundtrack albums are available. Jecheon International Music and Film Festival marks an unusual treat for Koreans in that sense, set in a suburban city in North Chungcheong province mostly known as a quiet resort area and a home to historic relics.
Opening Tuesday with an evening performance by several rock bands, the festival will show a total of 40 films over the next four days, both from Korea and abroad. It begins with Yaguchi Shinobu’s “Swing Girls,” a story about a high school music band in a small Japanese village that suffers a crisis before a local band competition when the members fall ill from food poisoning.
The main program is made up of six parts. In “For Mania,” the organizers put together documentaries on musicians. One of the notable films is “Scratch,” by American director Doug Pray, which runs like a music video dealing with the lives of hip-hop DJs like Q-Bert, DJ Crush, MixMAster and Cut Chemist. “Cine Symphony” features a collection of movies that mainly deal with the lives of musicians. “Musician’s Choice” is a section mainly aimed at audiences that look for cool melodies in a film. There are five Korean movies in this section, selected mainly based on the music recommended by prominent music directors and pop music critics, such as Lim Sun-rye’s “Waikki Brothers” and Kim Hong-jun’s “Jungle Story.”
“Filmmakers: Music Lovers” deals with films made by famed directors like Martin Scorsese, Atom Egoyan and Clint Eastwood who have a strong interest in music. It includes “The Blues: Piano Blues” by Eastwood and Egoyan’s “Yo Yo Ma Inspired by Bach Sabande,” a drama initially inspired by Bach’s unaccompanied cello suite no. 4.
“Global Panorama” puts together world films that are not particularly related to music, but describe various aspects of life worldwide. There are also Disney-type, family-oriented films for the “Family Zone.” The festival closes with “Allegro No Trippo,” a delightful animation with music by Bruno Bozzetto, an Oscar nominee for “Grasshoppers,” about an orchestra comprised of elderly women and a fastidious conductor.
Every night during the festival there will be performances by local musicians and indie rock bands, including Clazzi Quai, Lee Sang-eun, Sister’s Barber Shop and Second Moon, providing mixed grooves of jazz, bossa nova, rock and hip-hop.
by Park Soo-mee
Tickets are 8,000 won for opening and closing films, 5,000 won for regular screenings. To get to Jecheon, take a bus from East Seoul Bus Terminal or a train from Cheongnyangni. For information, call 043-646-2242.