Hand-picked favorites highlighted in festival
“Les amis de la Cinematheque” is a collective of Korean filmmakers, critics and actors who support Seoul Art Cinema, an arthouse theater that suffered financial troubles after moving to Jongno last year.
The group is holding a week-long festival to raise funds for the theater. The program was put together to present a collection of films, each chosen by the member of Les amis, followed by a question-and-answer session with the film personalities who picked the films.
The list is a compelling mix of Hollywood classics and all-time favorites of Korean cinephiles.
Today at 1 p.m., the theater screens a pick by director Kim Hong-jun, the 1965 classic “An Empty Dream” by Yu Hyun-mok. The film is an experimental montage that explores the fantasy world of a man and woman who knocked out by an anesthesia during surgery.
Followed the film on the same afternoon is “My Korean Cinema ― Episode 6,” a series of video essays by Kim, a critic and former programmer for the Pucheon film festival PiFan who is known for his taste in cult films.
At 3 p.m., the theater is screening Don Siegel’s “The Killers”, a classic B-movie picked by Park Chan-wook, starring the legendary Hollywood actor Lee Marvin and Ronald Reagan.
The next day, Ryu Seung-wan, the director of “Crying Fist” and “Arahan,” presents “Shock Corridor” by Samuel Fuller, a master of blood and violence.
The critic Jeong Seong-il picked “Broken Blossoms,” D.W. Griffith’s black and white silent film about Chinese immigrants living in an English slum. Kim Ji-woon, the director of “Bittersweet Life” picked “The Spirit of the Beehive” by the Spanish director Victor Erice, best known for his colorful palette similar to Kim’s sensual cuts.
Cinephile actors will also have their say.
Actress Mun So-ri chose “Opening Night” by John Cassavetes, a story of a female actor who suffers psychological trauma after a fan dies in a car crash on the way back after their meeting. The film is what Mun, who acted in “Oasis” and “A Good Lawyer’s Wife,” sees as the best performance by charismatic female actor Gena Rowlands, who won the award for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival for the film.
Hwang Jeong-min, Mun’s partner in “A Good Lawyer’s Wife,” picked “All That Jazz,” the musical by Bob Fosse, possibly because Hwang made his debut in the rock musical “Subway Line One” before his screen debut.
Chosen by an audience poll, the classic cult film “Death in Venice” by Luchino Visconti, will also be screened.
by Park Soo-mee
“Les amis de la Cinematheque” runs through Jan. 26 at Cinematheque, Seoul Art Cinema. Films including “Broken Blossoms,” “The Sprit of the Beehive,” “The General” and “Good-bye South, Good-bye” are screening with English subtitles. “Death in Venice” is screening with Spanish and Korean subtitles. For more information, call (02) 741-9782 or visit www.cinematheque.seoul.kr.