Film archive puts vintage flicks back on screen

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Film archive puts vintage flicks back on screen

If your taste of films requires the adjectives classic, vintage, historical or retro, you might want to consider jotting down the news from the Korean Film Archive.
The institute, which as its name suggests catalogues Korean movies, has been offering its “Relay of Classic Korean Films” since the beginning of the year among the films, a festival of films shot since 1964. Unfortunately, if you can’t speak Korean, you can stop reading here: there will be no English subtitles.
Since last February, the archive had been screening classic Korean films dating back to 1946, including Choi In-gyu’s “Hurrah for Freedom” and Sin Sang-ok’s “Red Scarf.”
In January, a total of 16 films shot during 1964 will be screened at the institute, including “Princess Snow White” by Min Je and “The Devil’s Stairway” by Lee Man-hee.
Among the films is “Desire in the Cave,” playing on the 10th, a controversial film dealing with a woman’s carnal desire.
“Is Your Beauty Such a Big Deal?” by Kim Su-yong, made national news after its onscreen couple, Eom Aeng-ran and Sin Seong-il, got married shortly after making the film.
The story deals with a man who has been secretly raising a girl who was born out of his affair with an ex-lover. The child grows up and finds a lover. But she finds out that the man was also secretly dating another woman, who happens to be her stepsister.
“Say No Words When You Leave,” playing on Jan. 6, is a classic melodrama by Kim Ki-duk, the director who made “Youth of Barefeet” (not the same director who made “The Island”). Kim was known for depicting sad love stories and twisted family histories. In the movie, a man from a poor family falls in love with the daughter of a wealthy company he works for. The parents disapprove of their marriage, but they run away and start a family. The woman dies of an illness. The film, aside from starring the Eom-Sin couple, created a major hit for a ballad used in the film’s soundtrack sang by Hyun Mi.
Others films deal with themes that deliberately challenged social norms.
“Confession of the Body,” (on Jan. 10) by Jo Geung-ha, delves into a married woman who has been secretly working at a nightclub for American soldiers. “Desire of the Cave,” by Kang Beom-gu, is a story of a woman who turns to murder after discovering her husband’s affair.
“Princess Snow White” (Jan. 25) reinterprets a western fairy tale in a Korean context. On Jan. 20, the institute plays “The Power of 10 Years” a film by Im Kwon-taek, the celebrated director of “Strokes of Fire” and “The Surrogate Woman.”


by Park Soo-mee

Screenings will take place everyday from Tuesday to Friday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Korean Film Archive in Seoul Arts Center. Movies are in Korean only. Admission is 2,000 won. For more information, call (02) 521-3147.
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