Painted in Light: The Korean Movie Screen
South Korean cinema is flourishing this century. In 2016 alone, 334 new Korean films were released, and more than half of the country’s domestic box office revenue came from homegrown (not Hollywood) product. The industry boasts a handful of prominent auteurs whose new works premiere regularly at the world’s most prestigious film festivals; many of these movies are subsequently released to theaters around the world.
In September, as a complement to the museum’s special exhibition of Korean painted screens, we present four major works—a thriller, a drama, a mystery, and an experimental comedy—by four of South Korea’s leading contemporary filmmakers: Park Chan-wook, Lee Chang-dong, Bong Joon Ho, and Hong Sang-soo. Park and Hong have proved so successful in their native country that they have been recruited to make movies in the West. One of Park’s films, Oldboy, was even remade in Hollywood by Spike Lee. All four films we will show originally debuted at Cannes. (The prolific Hong had two brand-new features in this year’s festival.) In short, this series, supported by a grant from the Korea Foundation, is an essential introduction to one of the world’s most vital national cinemas.
All shown from 35mm in Morley Lecture Hall. Admission to each is $11, CMA members $8.
A Korean businessman is inexplicably kidnapped and held prisoner in a small hotel room for 15 years. When he finally gets out, he vows revenge on the person responsible for his solitary confinement. No one under 18 admitted!
Winner of four 2010 Grand Bell Awards (South Korean Oscars), this multifaceted drama focuses on a 66-year-old widow who is learning to write poetry while raising an unruly teenage grandson—and also dealing with the onset of Alzheimer’s.
This acclaimed film follows a devoted mother who sets out to prove that her developmentally disabled son did not commit a killing he is accused of.
A former movie director turned pathetic, provincial film professor spends a three-day weekend in Seoul. But each day’s activities—wandering around the city, drinking with bar mates, trying to reconnect with an old girlfriend—are so similar that he seems caught up in an endless loop of disappointment and failure.