The programme brings together examples of how two pioneering Korean film collectives - Seoul Film & Jangsangotmae - established a relationship between theory and practice in order to develop a new kind of cinema, which they called ‘people’s cinema’ or ‘national cinema’. Striving for a new relationship with audiences, their films adopted another approach to their subjects, refusing privilege, and “preferring the round over the linear, sharing over possession, and liberation over incarceration”, as filmmaker Jang Sun-Woo expressed in 1983 in the manifesto ‘Toward an Open Cinema’.

The Night Before the Strike + Q&A

Night Before The Strike Website
Film info

Director: Lee Eun and Lee Jae-gu and Chang Younhyun and Chang Dong-hong
Cast: Gang Neung-won, Go Dong-eop, Kim Dong-beom, Park Jong-cheol, Park Hong-gyu
Cert 12, 113mins, 1990

The Night Before the Strike was the second feature produced by Jangsangotmae - a film production collective established in 1987 to help create an alternative cinema in support of progressive social movements. Despite the film being banned, a series of unofficial screenings across the country meant that 300,000 people were able to see it, ironically making it one of the most-viewed independent films of the time. Originally shot on 16mm, the Korean film Archive restored it in 4K, and the film had an official theatrical release in Korea on May Day this year, 30 years after its initial clandestine showings.

This screening will be followed by a conversation between co-director Chang Younhyun and Lucy Parker. Lucy Parker is a filmmaker and joint course leader of BA Filmmaking at Kingston University.

ICA London, 03 Nov 2019 4:00 pm

The Narrow Margin: Revisiting the 1980s Korean Film Collectives

Documentary Bluebird Website

This year’s Documentary strand follows on from the 2018 LKFF ‘Documentary Fortnight’ in focusing on exemplary independent works based around the themes of social justice and resistance. The movement of independent filmmaking in South Korea has its origin in the film collectives and university cine-clubs mostly found in the 1980s. In this associated event, renowned film critic Yoo Un-seong will revisit the wider activities of the 1980s Korean film collectives, before delving into a more in-depth discussion, presenting the Seoul Film Collective as a particular case study.

Yoo Un-seong is a Korean film critic and co-publisher of Okulo, a journal of cinema and the moving image. He worked as a programmer of the Jeonju International Film Festival (2004~2012) and the program director of the Moonji Cultural Institute SAII (2012~2014). In 2018, he published Ghost And The Guards, a collection of essays on cinema, art and literature. He co-edited the books Pedro Costa (2010), Roberto Rossellini (2004) and Carl Dreyer (2003), among others.

Two short films produced by the collective will be screened before the lecture: Water Utilisation Tax and Bluebird.

Birkbeck Cinema, 09 Nov 2019 1:30 pm