Enjoy films alfresco at August festivalsThe idea of enjoying a cultural festival in natural surroundings seems a decadent luxury. But that appears to be the theme of film festivals this summer in Korea.
The Jeongdongjin Independent Film Festival and Jecheon International Music and Film Festival are two classic examples.
Jeongdongjin, a popular destination in Gangwon province known for its sunrise tours every New Year, opens its offering August 4 for a weekend, under the slogan “Alternative, Independent and Romantic.”
Jecheon, which was founded last year, features programs on the themes of music and sound. Taking place beside a scenic lake that has long been a setting for traditional Korean landscape paintings, the festival will run from August 9 for five days in the cozy town of Jecheon, in North Chungcheong province.
The festival opens with “Two Sons of Francisco,” a Brazilian film by director Breno Silveira. The story is based on the true story of a Brazilian country music duo, Zeze Di Camargo & Luciano. It deals with a poor tenant farmer in the hinterlands of Goias who dreams of two of his nine children becoming famous country musicians, and the accident that brought a dramatic halt to the duo’s career.
As the main program, “Music in Sight” presents the latest feature films and documentaries under diverse musical themes; “Cine Symphony” peeks into contemporary world cinema through new features that address diverse ways of life in the world; “Theme & Variations” delves into various topics within the musical genre (including films like “Habana Blues” by Benito Zambrano); and “Film Music Retrospective” revives historical film music.
This year, the festival features a retrospective of Nino Rota, who composed scores for more than 150 original films before he died in 1979. The program includes “8 1/2,” a black and white feature directed by Rota’s artistic companion Federico Fellini, who recalled the late musician as a “most trustworthy friend and employee.”
There will also be musical performances staged outdoors beside Cheongpung Lake.
Jeongdongjin Independent Film Festival aims to revive the sensibility of old rural entertainment.
For three days, the playground of Jeongdong Elementary School, not far from the train station, will be a venue for exclusively independent films by young, emerging Korean directors.
Among the films will be “Walking in Rain,” the story of a female ticket seller at a theater in a Seoul suburb by acclaimed director Lim Sun-rye. Lim previously directed “Waikiki Brothers” and “Three Friends.”
by Park Soo-mee
Admission for all screenings at Jecheon is 5000 won ($5.30) except opening and closing films at 8,000 won and midnight screenings at 10,000 won. All screenings at Jeongdongjin are free. For more information on Jecheon, call (043) 646-2242. Buses to Jecheon leave Seoul’s Gangnam Express Bus Terminal every 40-50 minutes. There are trains to Jeongdongjin leaving from Cheongnyangni station everyday. For more information, check out http://jiff.co.kr/2005.