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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Event news: the final three screenings in the Unwrapping My Korean Cinema series

The second half of the “Patchworks: Unwrapping My Korean Cinema” season of screenings focuses on youth film and in particular the impact that the Ha Gil-jong movie The March of Fools had on film-maker Kim Hong-joon. Kim will be there for a Q+A after his La Vie en Rose, and he will also be giving a talk the following day to round off the season. Note that the final two events are at Birkbeck, not the KCC. Kim Hong-joon is a very entertaining and engaging speaker with a wealth of personal anecdotes about many of the greats of Korean cinema. His talks are not to be missed. Pre-registration is required for all the events via the KCC or Eventbrite.

The March of Fools (바보들의 행진)

10 August 2017, 7pm @ KCCUK
Director: Ha Gil-jong (1975) 105 mins / 15 cert. / Eng Subs
Cast: Yun Mun-seop, Ha Jae-young, Lee Young-ok, Kim Ill-young, Kim Yeong-suk
Reserve via Eventbrite

March of Fools

In his My Korean Cinema, Kim Hong-joon refers to The March of Fools as a film that made a profound impact upon him. The film was directed by Ha Gil-jong, a director who was known for being somewhat of a rebel himself and who unfortunately passed away all too soon. His film is about the dreams of youth and freedom, of love and possibility, but also of realising that life does not always turn out the way one had hoped.

Majoring in Philosophy at college, Byeong-tae becomes acquainted at a group meeting with Young-ja, who majors in French Literature. With the influence of rapidly propagated Western culture, these stylish 70s youngsters are dealing with the agonies of family, school and jobs. Though this agony is coloured with humour and selfscorn, it points towards a bright and promising future.

The March of Fools was recently deemed the best Korean film of all time in a KOFA poll of the top 100 Korean films.

Garak Market Revolution (장기왕: 가락시장 레볼루션)

17 August 2017, 7pm @ KCCUK
Director: Jung Da-won (2017) 88 mins
Cast: Jung Du-won, Choi Si-on, Park Ye-yeong
Reserve via Eventbrite

In this sweet alternative story of youth and protest, a young man with a college degree takes a job at the local Garak Market without telling his parents. Being teased by younger peers for not having a white collar job and getting harassed by his boss, his life is not exactly ideal, but after discovering his extraordinary gift for playing the traditional oriental chess game, jang-gi, and falling in love with a girl who fights to make the world a better place, he might have just found a possibility to change the world for himself and his friends.

– screening preceded by –

A Tent (천막)
Director: Lee Ran-Hee (2016) 25 mins

In this short, three men who used to work in a guitar factory are on their 3,169th day of protest. Living in a tent, making music for the streets, these men become a comic reminder to not let principles go before reason.

La Vie en Rose (장미빛 인생)

24 August 2017, 7pm @ Birkbeck Cinema | 43 Gordon Square | London WC1H 0PD
Director: Kim Hong-joon (1994) 93 mins
Cast: Kim Eun-sook, Choi Chong-won, Choi Jae-sung
+ A conversation with the director
Reserve via Eventbrite

Vie en Rose

La Vie en Rose feels like a Tarantino movie set in a comic book shop. It’s a film that works over many genres, ranging from martial arts to vengeance, from coming-of-age to finding your place in life. Clerks (Kevin Smith: 1994) meets High fidelity (Stephen Frears: 2000) as Seoul’s youth try to create and protect the place and the community they’ve come to love. “Should I stay or should I go?” is a question many young people ask themselves, whether they are from the country or the city, from the east or the west. It is a story about refusing to give up even under impossible circumstances; it’s about refusing to give in to the destructive forces of everything from organised crime, to governmental bans and crackdowns on illegal activities; it’s also about trying to build something together, a community you feel you can belong to, where the outcasts, half criminals and homeless can also feel welcomed.

A Talk on ‘Homage Film’ with Kim Hong-joon

25 August 2017, 7pm @ Birkbeck Cinema | 43 Gordon Square | London WC1H 0PD
Reserve via Eventbrite

Kim Hong-joon

The director of My Korean Cinema and La Vie en Rose, Kim Hong-joon, will give a special talk the following day (25 August) at Birkbeck Cinema for the Moving Image. He will speak about a few of his ‘homage films’ in relation to the idea of the ‘essay film’.

Excerpts from the following five short homage films will be presented:

  • The Cinematic World of Im Kwon-taek: Four Keywords — Tradition, Love, History and Road (2010)
  • 12 Shorts for Chung Chang-hwa Retrospective (2011)
  • Life Imitates Film: Looking Back on Choi Eun-hee (2013)
  • Kim Ki-deok: A Frontier-man of Chungmu-Ro (2016)
  • Ahn Sung-ki: A Persona of the Korean Cinema (2017)

This is open to the public, booking information can be found on the film page of our website.

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