The theme for this year’s film screenings at the KCC is “early works by 10 celebrated Korean directors”; and with ten months between now and the 10th KCC London Korean Film Festival, we are told that there’s a link there. No doubt more will be revealed in due course. This month there are two screenings of films by Im Kwon-taek, and the first is the 1976 film Wangsimni (also known as A Bygone Romance and My Hometown)
Im Kwon-taek: Wangsimni (왕십리)
Korean Cultural Centre, 15 January 7pm
Admission free. Booking essential here.
Jun-tae returns to his hometown, Wangsimni, after living abroad for 14 years. After settling in at a hotel, he walks the streets of Wangsimni, reminiscing about the fond memories he shared with Jeong-hui. He comes across the local billiards room he used to visit and sees that Choi, the manager of the billiards room, still works there. They catch up and Jun-tae asks Choi about the old crew and about Chung-geun. The group of friends meet up for drinks that night, and as they are paying, Chung-geun steals a glance of Jun-tae trying to pay with a big cheque. Cho insists that the friends get Jun-tae a call girl and Jun-tae and Yun-ae meet for the first time at his hotel room.
Jun-tae had left the country, promising never to return after a dispute with his step mother regarding inheritance of his father’s estate. Wangsimni has changed a lot during his absence, but his feelings for Jeong-hui have not. He asks about Jeong-hui but Choi and his friends urge him to forget her.