Chungmuro regains some Hollywood glitz

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Chungmuro regains some Hollywood glitz


Scenes from “Death in Venice” and “Leo the Last,” presented by the Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul

There was a time when Chungmuro in central Seoul was regarded as a Korean version of Hollywood. Aspiring actors and filmmakers would flock to the neighborhood because it was home to theaters and film agencies.
However, this chapter in Chungmuro’s history came to an end in the late 1990s, when the film agencies started to relocate. Ironically Chungmuro’s demise coincided with a renaissance of Korean cinema.
In a bid to revive its past glory, the Chungmuro International Film Festival will launch next Thursday and will run until Nov. 2.
With a list of some 150 films from home and abroad, the festival will take place in the Myungbo and Daehan theaters, the JoongAng Cinema and the Chungmu Art Hall.
Korea seems to have a long list of film festivals already, but the organizers of the Chungmuro festival say it will be different because it will feature classic films from the past.


“Broken English,” presented by the Megabox European Film Festival. Provided by the organizers

The lineup for the inaugural event includes a Charlie Chaplin retrospective to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death, and films by other master filmmakers including Luciano Visconti from Italy and England’s Lindsay Anderson. There will also be screenings of restored prints of classic films like Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”
Classic Korean films from years that end with the number seven will also be included.
Another notable features is a section titled “Masters,” which this year will be dedicated to John Boorman, the acclaimed British filmmaker. Eight features and one documentary film by Boorman will be presented, including “The General,” which won the best director’s award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
Courtesy of the Jung District, where Chungmuro is located, some of the films will be shown outdoors on the weekend at the Namsan Hanok Village. To mark the film festival a musical performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Seoul City Hall Plaza. There will be other concerts at Namsan Hanok Village and along the Cheonggye Stream from next Friday to Nov. 1.
Online sales of tickets for the films start next Monday at
Meanwhile, a film festival featuring European films is taking place at the Megabox COEX in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. The multiplex’s annual treat of European films started yesterday and runs through Sunday. It features 30 recent films from Europe and opened with “Four Minutes,” an acclaimed drama from Germany.
The festival features films from master filmmakers like Jiri Menzel, but also includes lighthearted romantic comedies like “Rent a Wife” from France.

Further information about the Chungmuro festival can be found at For more details about the European film festival, please visit Megabox COEX can be reached directly from Samseong Station. line No. 2.

By Chun Su jin []
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