[KS] North Korean Cinema
Afostercarter at aol.com
Afostercarter at aol.com
Sat Mar 8 09:13:00 EST 2003
I hope it's not too late to continue this thread from a month ago.
(No postings have reached me since mid-January, seemingly
because of a problem at AOL. Caveat lector!)
1. Korea Film Export and Import Corporation published a
'Feature Film List' catalogue in September 1998.
I assume this is their latest, as it was given me in October
last year by Ms Ryom Mi Hwa of KFEIC - along with Kim Jong Il's
On The Art Of The Cinema (FLPH, 1989; 332pp; originally
dating from 1973, allegedly).
The catalogue, in Korean and English, lists no fewer than 259
different films - indeed more, as several are multi-part (eg
The Nation and Destiny). No dates are given; just the number
of reels (from 7 to 385!), screen ratio, and footage length.
But I think they are in chronological order, spanning many years.
"Theme" is also given, in the following categories. (This is
all they say, and these are the only categories.)
KFEIC's fax numbers are +8502 3814410 and 4416.
There may be more info online at www.dprkorea.com,
but it seems to be down at the moment.
2. Even so, this catalogue by no means exhausts the
full range of North Korean film-making. The DPRK
also has a thriving cartoon industry, as
recently featured in Forbes magazine:
3. But Pulgasari is not on offer. Johannes Schoenherr,
in his book Trashfilm Roadshows (Headpress, 2002;
www.headpress.com), describes his unsuccessful efforts
to get it included in the batch of DPRK feature fims
which he toured in Europe in 2000.
This book (whose other chapters are not for the squeamish)
also has much shrewd if irreverent observation on the
North Korean film scene, based on two visits to Pyongyang.
I review it in a forthcoming Asia Times Online column.
4. Hyangjin Lee's Contemporary Korean Cinema
(Manchester Univ Press, 2001) offers an academic
analytical treatment of both NK and SK cimema.
5. On Shin Sang-ok and Choe Eun-hui:
Mike Thomson, a BBC reporter who was recently in
both Pyongyang and Seoul, has done a longish interview. See:
6. Finally, listmembers in the US may be able to pick up
the KFEIC catalogue, as I did, at a showing of The Game
of Their Lives. This fine British-made film, about the giant-killing
DPRK soccer team of the 1966 World Cup, is currently on tour
in the US, with a few west coast showings still to come. See:
7. PS! http://www.dprkfilm.com looks great.
But you need ROK ID to access the site, it seems.
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University
17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK
tel: +44(0) 1274 588586 mobile: +44(0) 7970 741307
fax: +44(0) 1274 773663 Email: afostercarter at aol.com
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