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Jecheon Fest Highlights Music-themed Films

2007/08/03 Source

Between last summer and this summer, a number of musical and music-driven Korean films were released, defining an important new trend towards the genre for local audiences. This month the 3rd Jecheon International Music and Film Festival (JIMFF) showcases that trend, bringing 7 music-themed Korean features to the lakeside event in North Chungcheong province.

Highlighted are last summer's musicals, the kinky high-school comedy Dasepo Naughty Girls ("Dasepo Girl") by Lee Jae-yong in a new Director's Cut version, and "The Ghost Theater", a musical-fantasy by debut director JEON Kye-soo. From Fall '06 are Lee Joon-ik's "Radio Star", an uplifting drama about a fallen rock star (Park Joong-hoon) who finds fulfillment and fame on the radio, and the "The Fox Family" a full-tilt musical and the feture debut of screenwriter Lee Hyeong-gon.

From the winter of 2007 are two music-themed hits about personal transformation, the extremely successful "200 Pounds Beauty", starring Kim Ah-joong, and "Highway Star" which explores the Korean 'trot' music genre popular with the older generation. Rounding off is Im Kwon-taek's 100th feature, "Beyond the Years", about the persistence of traditional Korean music in a rapidly changing environment. The film was recently invited to screen out of competition at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival.

Running August 9 14, JIMFF will present a total of 71 films from 23 countries, along with around 30 musical performances. Curtain raiser is 2006 Irish film Once, an art house musical directed by John Carney. Winner of the World Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, it is a tale of romance between a street musician and an immigrant girl. The closer will be Agnieszka Holland's Copying Beethoven, which portrays the final years of the legendary German composer.

A special focus on cultural exchange between Korea and Japan in the field of film scores, will bring two Japanese master film composers to JIMFF. Ikebe Shinichiro, who has scored several of the films of Kurosawa Akira and Imamura Shohei will attend, along with Kawai Kenji, the composer for anime director Oshii Mamoru's Ghost in the Shell and other works.

The two composers will also lead workshops for aspiring film composers as part of JIMFF's Jecheon Film Music Academy, which provides hands-on training. Attendees will be asked to compose original scores for short films at the festival. Director Park Chan-wook is also on this year's faculty, while renowned music directors, Kim Joon-seok and Shim Hyeon-jeong will supervise the program.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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