The volume provides the first detailed and authoritative overview of Korean cinema history, and in so doing develops new historical and critical understandings of Korean cinema from the period of Japanese colonial rule to the present day, with two very different cinematic traditions in this divided peninsula.
The contributed chapters approach the subject from multiple and dynamic perspectives. The seven chapters in Part I, ‘Historical Trajectories’, provide diachronic coverage of several key areas of activity across the full breadth of Korean cinema history including film policy, film style, and stars. Parts II-V provide synchronic coverage of a range of narrower topics, moving from the earliest extant silent film, Crossroads of Youth, (1934) to post-war genres such as melodrama and comedy, and from North Korean cinema to today’s complex transnational movie environment. Each chapter develops its own distinctive argument while providing the reader with a detailed and accurate account of the particular period and topic under discussion. Many of these topics have never been discussed before in English-language scholarship, making this unique publication essential reading for anyone seeking to develop their understanding of cinema in the two Koreas.