My Korean Cinema: Episode 1-8

나의 한국영화 에피소드 1-8

My Korean Cinema
Film info

Director: Kim Hong-joon
112 mins, 2002

My Korean Cinema is director Kim Hong-joon’s own history of Korean cinema told in short episodes that unfold like a series of personal filmic notes. Assembled and selected from his television presentations, these films cover over forty years of cinema and how film culture in Korea has changed over the years. The filmmaker remembers his first steps working in film, from childhood to his time as an assistant to veteran director Im Kwon-taek in the Chungmuro film studios. He drives through the old neighborhood of Chungmuro looking for the remains of the long gone studios where most classical films in Korea were produced. A restored version of a film from 1975, March of Fools (dir. Ha Kil-jong) brings back the memory of the director’s years as a university student, becoming a reflection about the mechanisms of censorship. Another episode, beautifully edited, looks at what the images of women smoking in classical Korean cinema tell about society, morality and emancipation. Either musing over the consequences of yet another film magazine shutting down, filming the backstage of the reconstruction of a long lost film made by one of Korean’s greatest filmmakers, Yu Hyun-mok, at the cinematic representations of independence hero Kim Ku, or finally, revisiting with emotion La Vie en Rose (1994), one of his earlier films, My Korean Cinema is an ode to cinema, an essay at once personal and unconventional.