Books on Film

Upcoming books on Korean film

by Philip Gowman 16 August 2007
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Just as the Korean film scene seems to be losing some of its buzz, books about it are coming thick and fast. 2004 saw the Wallflower Press book (though it seems only last year that it came out); 2005 saw the Julian Stringer / Shin Chi-yun book; and last year came the book on Kim […]

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Book review: Kim Hong-joon: Kim Ki-young

by Philip Gowman 22 May 2007
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Kim Ki-young, Ed Kim Hong-joon KOFIC Korean Film Directors Series Seoul Selection, 2007 KOFIC’s enterprise in bringing out this series is greatly to be welcomed. This current instalment is particularly welcome as English-language materials on Kim Ki-young are few and far between. (Chris Berry’s web project, House of Kim Ki-young, seems to be out of […]

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Chung Sung-il: Im Kwon-taek

by Philip Gowman 20 May 2007
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(Seoul Selection, 2007) Together with its sister publication, the work on Kim Ki-young, this book is the fourth and fifth in KOFIC’s series of monographs on individual Korean directors. It’s also the first time that KOFIC has charged for them. The first three were available for free download from the KOFIC website: these are only […]

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Lee Young-il and Choe Young-chol: The History of Korean Cinema

by Philip Gowman 29 April 2007
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Jimdoondang Publishing Co, Seoul, 1988 I’m sure this book has a readership, but I’m not sure what it is. It is so badly written that it encourages skim-reading and thus is not particularly attractive for the general reader; while the index is so poor that its use as an academic reference tool is limited. As […]

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Adrien Gombeaud and others: Kim Ki-duk

by Philip Gowman 28 December 2006
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(Dis Voir, 2006) Adrien Gombeaud / Anaïd Demir / Cédric Lagandré / Catherine Capdeville-Zeng / Daniele Rivière The best French organists are known for their improvisation skills. Suggest a theme, and they will start a journey from it, sometimes referring back to it but often exploring strange new vistas completely unrelated to it. The essays […]

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Im Kwon-taek – The making of a Korean National Cinema

by Philip Gowman 1 December 2006
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David James & Kyung-hun Kim: (Wayne State UP, 2001) 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). Kim Kyung-hyun’s lucid account of Im’s career put in the […]

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Fetishes, Phalluses and Mini-skirts

by Philip Gowman 13 September 2006
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Kyung-Hyun Kim: The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema Duke University Press, 2004 This book is for a restricted academic readership only. I can empathise with the feeling of inadequacy, crisis and male lack which, according to Kim, plagues the majority of protagonists in Korean film (though there is a difference between me and them, namely that […]

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Korean Film – History, Resistance and Democratic Imagination

by Philip Gowman 9 June 2006
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Eungjun Min, Jinsook Joo, Han Ju Kwak (Praeger, 2003) Proof that an academic book on film does not have to be unreadable; and apart from the first chapter this book is accessible to the general reader. The first chapter can, however, be safely ignored, as it seems simply to serve to establish that the authors […]

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Hyangjin Lee: Contemporary Korean Cinema

by Philip Gowman 10 May 2006

(Manchester UP, 2000) If you can cut through the occasionally inelegant prose this book is a very interesting study, particularly in its inclusion of North Korean films. Recommended. Links: Read a proper review of this over at the Korean Studies portal Buy Contemporary Korean Cinema: Culture, Identity and Politics at Amazon

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South Korean Golden Age Melodrama: Gender, Genre, and National Cinema

by Philip Gowman 10 April 2006

Nancy Abelmann, Kathleen McHugh (eds) (Wayne State UP, 2005) On my reading pile (31 March 2006). Will report once I’ve read it. Links: Beat me to it. Buy South Korean Golden Age Melodrama: Gender, Genre, and National Cinema at Amazon

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Justin Bowyer (ed): The cinema of Japan and Korea

by Philip Gowman 10 April 2006

(Wallflower, 2004) A collection of articles from a wide variety of perspectives, some more approachable than others, but all of which encourage you to think beyond what’s on the screen. Links: Buy The Cinema of Japan and Korea at Amazon

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Anthony Leong: Korean Cinema – the new Hong Kong

by Philip Gowman 10 April 2006

(Trafford, 2002) A lively book containing reviews of the most readily accessible recent films. Links: Buy Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong at Amazon

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Review: New Korean Cinema (Julian Stringer, Shin Chi-yun)

by Philip Gowman 20 September 2005
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(Edinburgh UP, 2005) A good selection of articles covering a wide variety of topics. Highly recommended, despite the over-academic language in one or two of the articles. This book’s lively cover, a bracing green colour with a still from Take Care of My Cat, makes it sit well on the bookshelf next to the equally […]

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