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The South Korean Film Renaissance: Local Hitmakers, Global Provocateurs

From the publisher’s website:

For the past decade, the Korean film industry has enjoyed a renaissance. With innovative storytelling and visceral effects, Korean films not only have been commercially viable in the domestic and regional markets but also have appealed to cinephiles everywhere on the international festival circuit. This book provides both an industrial and an aesthetic account of how the Korean film industry managed to turn an economic crisis—triggered in part by globalizing processes in the world film industry—into a fiscal and cultural boom. Jinhee Choi examines the ways in which Korean film production companies, backed by affluent corporations and venture capitalists, concocted a variety of winning production trends. Through close analyses of key films, Choi demonstrates how contemporary Korean cinema portrays issues immediate to its own Korean audiences while incorporating the transnational aesthetics of Hollywood and other national cinemas such as Hong Kong and Japan. Appendices include data on box office rankings, numbers of films produced and released, market shares, and film festival showings.

About the Author

JINHEE CHOI is a lecturer in film studies at the University of Kent in the U.K. She is the coeditor of Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures (2005) and Horror to the Extreme: Changing Boundaries in Asian Cinema (2009). She has widely published in such journals as the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the British Journal of Aesthetics, Asian Cinema, Post Script, and Jump Cut.



  1. Faces of globalization.
  2. Blockbusters, Korean style.
  3. No blood? No tears! Gangster cinema.
  4. I’m not a girl, yet not a woman: romance films.
  5. Once upon a time in high school: teen pics.
  6. Not just metteurs-en-scène?: “high-quality” films.
  7. Riding the new wave

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