Shifting Landscape, curated by Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA student Samuel Thiery is next in the series of film programmes curated by finalist students from the NFTS. The season comprises four dates across January and celebrates South Korean cinema, with films by Park Kwang-su and fellow Korean New Wave director Chung Ji-young; examining the social contexts behind the release of their films as well as their place in South Korea’s illustrious cinematic history.
The season includes Black Republic (Park Kwang-Su, 1990), White Badge (Chung Ji-Young, 1992), Chilsu and Mansu (Park Kwang-Su, 1988) and Nambugun (Chung Ji-Young, 1990).
The release of Park Kwang-Su’s 1988 film Chilsu Wa Mansu marked the starting point of the New Korean Cinema Movement. The relaxation of censorship laws in the country gave aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to tell stories and address issues previously forbidden to them. The resulting films provided a new and incisive look on South Korea, its politics and history, and were hugely influential in shaping South Korean cinema as we know it today.
The screenings are as follows:
Black Republic (Dir. Park Kwang-su, 1990): Park Kwang-su’s follow up to his 1988 debut feature Chilsu and Mansu, about a student dissident on the run from the authorities who takes refuge in a small isolated mining community and struggles to settle into his chosen hideout. The film tackles the division between intellectuals and the working class, a subject which is still resonant in South Korean society and globally.
White Badge (Dir. Chung Ji-young, 1992) looks at South Korea’s participation in the Vietnam War, depicting the pervasive and lingering evils of war by showing how it destroys not only the lives of those who are killed but also the souls of those who do the killing.
Chilsu and Mansu (Dir. Park Kwang-su, 1988): Park Kwang-su’s debut feature Chilsu and Mansu came at a pivotal moment in Korean history and was one of the films that propelled the Korean New Wave. South Korea had been in a state of perpetual turmoil for decades. The film uses a realist framework to tackle the subject of marginalisation of working class members within society, and is regarding as a major step towards freedom of expression in South Korean cinema.
Nambugun (Dir. Chung Ji-young, 1990): The film is based on the experiences of real-life war correspondent Lee Tae as his unit journeys through the country’s wild and untamed mountains. Far from a typical war film, Nambugun turns its attention to the men and women, soldiers and civilians fighting for survival in the conflict; capturing a rarely seen aspect of the Korean War.
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More information on the NFTS Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA can be found at www.nfts.co.uk/filmstudies