Here’s the press release for the Jang Sun-woo season at the KCC this month. We’ve already had A Petal last week, and Road to the Racetrack is this week. Tony Rayns introduces his documentary on Jang the following week, while the another rarity, one of koreanfilm.org’s top 10 films of the 1990s, The Lovers of Woomook-baemi, completes the season on 26 August.
“…his works have always displayed an incessant need to find and explore new resources in the language of cinema, and have often questioned audiences about controversial issues in Korean society”
Celebrating one of South Korea’s most controversial and provocative filmmakers, Jang Sun-woo, the Korean Cultural Centre UK will be screening three of his most important works. Also there will be a special screening of the Tony Rayns directed documentary The Jang Sun-woo Variations, an in-depth and revealing film dissecting each film of the director’s and his lasting influence on the Korean film industry and society.
Considered a rebel in his home country and routinely censored Jang Sun-woo’s films delves into the social insecurities he sees in Korean society particularly with attitudes towards sex. At the heart of the filmmaking has and always will be an activist, previously being jailed before being involved in films Jang Sun-woo still looks to make an undeniable statement, spitting in the face of authority.
The first film is A Petal centres on a young, mentally fragile girl who forms an unsettling bond with a drunken labourer. As the film progresses the story of how the girl has ended up in this sorry state is shockingly revealed. The film tackles the Kwangju up-rising that is still one of South Korea’s darkest moments.
The Road to Racetrack continues the season, after fives years studying in France the simply named “R” returns to Korea and is reunited with his lover in France, “J”. R wishes to rekindle their relationship but J is reluctant. A film about obligations, running from them or feeling unfairly tied to them is told in a realistic and sometimes disturbing way.
The third film is an incredible documentary, The Jang Sun-woo Variations directed and introduced by film critic Tony Rayns. The film dissects each of Jang Sun-woo’s works from his earliest film Seoul Jesus to his current projects at the time of filming. Everyone key player in Jang Sun-woo’s films are interviewed to help in delving into the mind of this very controversial director with the crowning jewel being extensive discussions with Jang Sun-woo himself. With so much controversial behind his films Tony Rayns also talks to the average Korean on the street to find how Jang Sun-woo’s films have affected the general public.
The final film is one rarely seen in the UK, Lovers in Woomukbaemi. A different type of film compared to Jang Sun-woo’s previously screened in this retrospective, Lovers has far more of a comedic touch to the subject. Situated in a small town in South Korean it centres on a clothes factory manager and the triangular relationship between himself, his insatiably jealous and violent wife and one of his employees. Each character helps to represent that thoughts, feelings and humour of the lower class at the time. A hugely funny film yet not any less important than any of Jang Sun-woo’s other films.
Whether you are a fan of Korean cinema or not we hope that you can join us and experience these exciting and engaging films at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, 1-3 Strand, London.
All events at the Korean Cultural Centre are free to enter but reserving a place is strongly advised. To reserve your place on the above events please R.S.V.P to firstname.lastname@example.org, clearly stating your name, telephone number and which event you would like to attend.
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.