Kitano's honor

Alex Zahlten Alex.Zahlten
Mon Aug 30 19:50:47 EDT 2004

The connection between Korean and Japanese cinema in the 60's/70's is
definitely something that should be researched more. 
I was at the Puchon Fantastic Film Festival in Korea recently, and they
screened a restored version of a film called EMPTY DREAM (1965, 70 Min.,
B&W) by director YU Hyun-mok, well known at the time for a style of social
realism. The film is essentially a remake of the "scandalous" DAYDREAM
(1964) by Takechi Tetsuji, with some scenes and images corresponding
The director, however, had never seen the Japanese film; the producer had
flown to Tokyo and seen it (it was too expensive for Yu to fly over as
well), then returned and told Yu exactly what kind of film he wanted. 

Also, talking about "copies", there were apparently quite a few Japanese
directors (like Nakahira Ko) that shot films in Korea, for the Korean
market, under a Korean alias. 
It would be really interesting if the films Kitano used as examples were
actually remakes/alternate versions by the same director- though I assume
that would have been mentioned by the actress. I wonder if any directors
re-shot their own films in Korea? Comparing those would be amazingly

Alex Zahlten

> On Aug 31, 2004, at 1:33 AM, Jason Gray wrote:
> > But once upon a time, Korea was bankrupt of ideas and
> > turned to Japan's seishun eiga boom in the 1960s for
> > material
> As nice to Koreans as they are to Iranians, eh?
> I have also heard of Korean filmmakers stopping in Tokyo on a layover 
> >from somewhere else. They check out what's hitting in Japan, and then 
> go reproduce it back home. The example I heard was an Ozu film!  (I'd 
> love to see if they copied Ozu down to the shot!)
> What exactly was going on here? Setting aside Takeshi's setsu about 
> lack of creativity, we can certainly say it has something to do with 
> the ban on Japanese films in Korea. Was it simply a stunningly 
> elaborate version of the remake/rip-off---Batman reproduced in the 
> Philippines or the Ring in the US? The former example shows how 
> prestige is borrowed, while the latter is a matter of creativity.
> I suppose the first step would be finding out how much people knew 
> about Japanese cinema despite the ban. And to what degree were these 
> films coded as foreign, generically or even as adaptations? What does 
> this say about Japan-Korean relations in pop culture?  This hints at a 
> fascinating relationship between Japanese and Korean cinema beyond the 
> colonial era and into the days of the embargo.
> Anyone looking for a dissertation topic?
> Markus

alex at

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