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Im Kwon-Taek: The Making of a Korean National Cinema

From the publisher’s website:

Korean cinema was virtually unavailable to the West during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945), and no film made before 1943 has been recovered even though Korea had an active film-making industry that produced at least 240 films. For a period of forty years, after Korea was liberated from colonialism, a time where Western imports were scarce, Korean cinema became an innovative force reflecting a society whose social and cultural norms were becoming less conservative. Im Kwon-Taek: The Making of a Korean National Cinema is a colleciton of essays written about Im Kwon-Taek, better know as the father of New Korean Cinema, that takes a critical look at the situations of filmmakers in South Korea.

Written by leading Koreanists and scholars of Korean film in the United States, Im Kwon-Taek is the first scholarly treatment of Korean cinema. It establishes Im Kwon-Taek as the only major Korean director whose life’s work covers the entire history of South Korea’s military rule (1961-1992). It demonstrates Im’s struggles with Korean cinema’s historical contradictions and also shows how Im rose above political discord. The book includes an interview with Im, a chronology of Korean cinema and Korean history showing major dynastic periods and historical and political events, and a complete filmography.

Im Kwon-Taek is timely and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Korean cinema. These essays situate Im Kwon-Taek within Korean filmmaking, placing him in industrial, creative, and social contexts, and closely examine some of his finest films. Im Kwon-Taek will interest students and scholars of film studies, Korean studies, religious studies, postcolonial studies, and Asian studies.

LKL adds:
Contains the following papers:
Kyung Hyun Kim: Korean Cinema and Im Kwon-taek: an overview
David E James: Im Kwon-taek: Korean National Cinema and Buddhism
Eunsun Cho: The Female Body and Enunciation in Adada and Surrogate Mother
Chungmoo Choi: The Politics of Gender, Aestheticism and Cultural Nationalism in Sopyonje and The Genealogy
Cho Hae Joang: Sopyonje: Its cultural and historical meaning
Julian Stringer: Sopyonje and the inner domain of national culture
Yi Hyoin: Fly High, Run Far: Kaebyok and Tonghak ideology
Kyung Hyun Kim: Is this how the war is remembered? Deceptive sex and the remasculinized nation in The Taebaek Mountains
Han Ju Kwak: In defense of continuity: discourses on tradition and the mother in Festival

Also includes an interview with Im Kwon Taek, a timeline of Korean topical events and filmography.

LKL says:

A wide-ranging collection of essays which usefully documents Im’s importance as a filmmaker, from his first attempt in the early 60s to his latest (at the time this book was published, Chunhyang was the most recent).

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0. Read our review of this book here.

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.