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Beyond the Years at the KCC

Beyond the Years

The KCC’s second monthly film screening will be Im Kwon-taek’s Beyond the Years (천년학). Im’s 100th film, it’s a sequel to his breakthrough movie from the early 1990s, Sopyonje. Here’s the KCC’s press release:

Thursday, March 27th 2008, 7:00 PM

As part of the Korean Film Night programme, and following the first successful showing of Virgin Snow, the Korean Cultural Centre UK proudly presents the first UK release of Beyond the Years.

Beyond the Years is the one hundredth film of the highly prolific director Kwon Taek Im, casting Jae Hyun Cho (조재현) (Dong Ho) and Jung Hae Oh (오정해) (Song Wha).

Dong Ho, a pansori drummer, is the adopted son of Yu Bong and the brother of Song Wha, a beautiful girl training to become a great pansori singer. Although Dong Ho develops an unspoken love for Song Wha, a love that exceeds the normative affections between siblings, his constant struggles with his father determines him to leave home and find a better life. Yet wherever he walks, he cannot forget his love. His heart compels him to return to Song Wha, dedicate his life to her, and maintain the special relationship they enjoy.

The film will hold its first showing in the UK in the modern Multi-purpose hall of the Korean Cultural Centre UK, situated in the Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square.

For further information please contact:
Email: hyejung [DOT] jeon [AT] kccuk [DOT] org [DOT] uk

The film features the same two main characters as Sopyonje, and retains the same actress. I’m not sure that I picked up on anything unwholesome between the two musicians (who I thought had no blood connection), but those who thought that there was something unwholesome between the singer and her adoptive father in Sopyonje will find their theories supported in this film.

Beyond the Years

Sopyonje explored, in part, the struggle of Korean traditional music to survive in a country opening up to the dominant new cultures of the West. Beyond the Years continues that theme, though it also considers some of the problems in protecting such traditions: included in the film is a brief sideswipe at the sometimes rigid approach of the Korean cultural preservation establishment (our inspired pansori singer is corrected by a pettifogging professor on some unimportant detail, to which the answer is “the song was in existence before your rules were invented”).

The film also reveals Im’s love of the Korean countryside, and perhaps expresses a little sadness at the way modernity has shaped that countryside: in a clever piece of CGI, a beautiful watery inlet below Crane Mountain is transformed into a featureless field when a barrage is built. There’s also some pretty shots in Cheju Island:

Beyond the Years

The film’s run time is 106 mins. Pre-registration is required either by phoning the KCC on 020 7004 2600 or emailing kcclondon [AT] googlemail [DOT] com


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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