You don’t have to look very far these days to see the influence that the film industry of Hong Kong has had on moviemaking around the world. Hong Kong film stars, such as Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat, Jet Li, and Michelle Yeoh, have become household names headlining Hollywood blockbusters, while directors such as John Woo, Tsui Hark, and Wong Kar-wai are closing deals in Tinseltown and developing huge international followings.
Despite achieving such recognition abroad, the luster on Hong Kong’s homegrown film industry has faded quite a bit over the past decade. However, many Hong Kong cinema aficionados, who passionately followed the rise of the ‘Hong Kong New Wave’ during the Eighties and early Nineties, only to become increasingly disenchanted since then, are now looking to South Korea for Asia’s boldest and most innovative films.
Since 1998, South Korea’s local film industry has undergone a remarkable transformation. A new generation of Korean moviemakers is revitalizing the industry with bold arthouse productions, big-budget actioners, thought-provoking dramas, and subversive satires. In some circles, South Korea is even being likened to the new ‘Hong Kong’, with its film industry on the verge of exploding onto the world stage, similar to how the ‘Hong Kong New Wave’ catapulted the former British colony and its groundbreaking films into the international spotlight. Already, some Korean films have found success in the North American market arthouse circuit, while Korean directors are being courted by major Hollywood studios for lucrative U.S. remake rights.
“Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong” is a guidebook for exploring this new and exciting treasure trove of cinema. It is the first book of its kind, covering this emerging cinematic powerhouse in an easy-to-read and leisure-focused fashion, bringing all the sought-after information on Korean cinema into one convenient package. Within the pages of Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong, you will find:
- A brief history of South Korea and its film industry, which will help you understand the reasons behind the revolutionary changes in Korean cinema and what is influencing the country’s directors
- A look at the present state of Korea’s filmmaking industry and how it resembles the dot-com era (with the only difference being that these companies are actually making money, and lots of it)
- An examination of the characteristics, themes, and dominant genres of the films in this newest ‘Korean New Wave’
In-depth reviews and commentary of the top ten must-see films of this latest ‘Korean New Wave’
- An overview of the top genres of Korean cinema, with reviews, commentary, and notes on availability for the good, the bad, and the ugly
- A look at the stars of Korean cinema, such as the Korean equivalents to Tom Cruise (Han Suk-kyu) and Julia Roberts (Shim Eun-ha).
- How moviegoers can go about seeing Korean flicks (with English subtitles too!)
About the Author
In addition to being a licensed pharmacist and management consultant, Anthony Leong has been a part-time film critic since 1997. Many of his 750+ film reviews and articles have appeared in books, magazines, and entertainment portals all around the world, as well as on his own entertainment web site, MediaCircus.net. After watching his very first Korean film, “Shiri”, Mr. Leong became hopelessly hooked and made a vow to write the very first guidebook to this new and exciting world cinema phenomenon, the results of which you now hold in your hand.
Source: publisher’s website