Korean Film Plug, Asano Programme, etc

Barbara Hartley hartleyb
Fri Apr 23 22:05:57 EDT 1999

>From: "Stephen Cremin" <asianfilmlibrary at hotmail.com>
>To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
>Subject: Korean Film Plug, Asano Programme, etc
>Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 09:23:04 GMT

> On the subject of Korean film, I just want to give a little plug for
> my Korean programme in August which will again represent more than
> half of the films in this year's London Pan-Asian Film Festival.  The
> theme is female desire in Korean cinema, from "The Free Woman" (1956)
> to "The Affair" (1998).  The former was the first expression of female
> desire on screen at a time when kissing was forbidden; at the end of
> the film, the husband kicks his wife out after discovering her affair.
> The latter was a box office smash last year, also about a middle-class
> woman having an affair ... but 40 years on she walks out of the
> marriage through her own choice, and not to be with the man.  So, its
> that space I'm interested in: perhaps bringing in an example of the
> "Madame Aema" series of the 1970s, which was very much the Korean
> "Emmanuelle".  And, of course, female desire was the strong theme in
> last year's Korean films: "Bedroom & Courtroom", "Girls Night Out",
> "Birdcage Inn", etc.  I had a great success last year with the Kim Ki-
> Young programme, which is very much about the fear of female
> sexuality, so I'll bring those back.  Much of Korean horror as a genre
> in film touches on this fear of the female, but I suspect thats true
> of several (South-East) Asian countries too.  There's also an actress
> I'm planning a retrospective on who fits this theme: she's never been
> recognised abroad and will apparently be good fun in London.  There
> will also be several lectures and panel discussions.  Laura Mulvey is
> apparently becoming interested in Korean film, so perhaps she'll write
> an article.  And I have someone else lined up for an article on
> "Female Desire vs Male Anxiety in Korean Film", a very strong theme
> among directors such as Jang Sun-Woo.  If anyone else wants to write
> something, let me know.
> This may be the last London Pan-Asian Film Festival.  I'm thinking of
> going off to Korea for a few years.  I won't decide until later this
> year.  As some of you will be aware, there was an orchestrated attempt
> at sabotaging last year's festival - telephone calls made to guests
> and sales agents, pressure put on magazine editors, false rumours
> spread about my personal life - which we beat.  We could have leaked
> it to the press (as Popcorn Film Festival did in Sweden), but I wanted
> to beat my competition on the quality of programming.  The problem now
> is more financial.  Anyway, I've just returned from the Udine Festival
> in Italy and I think it is the best programme of Asian film now in
> Europe so I'm happy to let them emerge as the best festival for Asian
> film in Europe.
> The Asano Tadanobu programme in June is going smoothly.  Guests
> include Asano and Ishii Katsuhito, director of "Shark Skin Man & Peach
> Hip Girl".  We'll hold a live "benshi" performance around the surreal,
> erotic manga adaptation "Nejishiki": I don't think a subtitled print
> would work anyway.  Bitters End have secured me a few dozen of the
> surreal wind-up toys made for the film, and the screening is as much
> about having an excuse to send those out to the press as anything
> else.  (Although I'm glad to see it made Mark Schilling's Best Ten.)
> Again, if anyone wants a ticket to the opening screening and party on
> 3 June, let me know.  But if any KineJapan members are thinking of
> coming, I suggest they wait until August for the main week of
> premieres and Korean programme.
> (Finally, Stephen Sarrazin's mention of a money order, doesn't refer
> to an illicit tape trade.  I'm buying the English-language rights to
> the fantastic Iwai Shunji interview he conducted in February this
> year.  Better than anything I've translated from the Japanese.)
> Stephen Cremin
> Director, London Pan-Asian Film Festival
> ______________________________________________________
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