By Lee Hyo-won
Grab a box of popcorn for the perfect urban escapism. A group of exciting summer film festivals awaits audiences at selected Seoul theaters near you, so there is no need to travel far to shake off the heat and stress. Until the end of August, "Next Plus Summer Film Festival" offers everything from the black and white classics and mind-provoking documentaries to the latest digital films.
Co-organized by the city of Seoul, Korean Film Council, Korean Association of Cinematheques and Art Plus Cinema Network, the film festival offers moviegoers a break from the usual lineup of horror movies that hit screens during the hot season.
Flight of the Youthful Spirit
Gwanghwamun Cinecube will release a series of films that portray the passions and adventures of young characters.
"Alaska.de" (2000), currently showing, is a critically acclaimed film, defining the future of German cinema. Director Esther Gronenbom, a music video creator, offers sophisticated visual flair while realistically documenting the troubled minds and blossoming loves of teenage misfits, who play themselves rather than act out characters.
"Eternal Summer" (2007, Taiwan), to be released August 2, and "Summer Storm" (2004, Germany), August 16, both trace the sexual dilemmas of teenage boys, who find themselves increasingly attracted to their best friend.
Tickets cost 7,000 won (6,500 won for Middle and High School students). But from now until September 8, you can view three of the four films for a special package price of 18,000 won. Visit Open the link
for online reservations and more information.
Seoul Art Cinema, located in Jongno-gu, will screen over 90 works, ranging from such classics as Audrey Hepburn's "My Fair Lady" (1964) to colorful cartoons by famed Russian animator Konstantin Bronzit and fantastic films by Takashi Miike.
"Cinecity Seoul: Seoul, Urban Landscape" offers documentary pieces that capture different colors of the capital city, such as "Confession of an Actress"
(1967) and "Documents: Early Modern Korean Landscape" (1899-1941), an omnibus of city portraits at different moments in time.
Tune into `Music and Cinema Day', July 28, for films like "Pink Floyd: The Wall" (1982), which delves deeps into the psyche of the iconic 1970s rocker.
"Midnight Movies Day", August 10, will be a treat for horror movie junkies, who might enjoy gothic gore film "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" (1970) among other harrowing pieces.
Tickets for all movies cost 6,000 won and can be purchased at Seoul Art Cinema or online, at Open the link
, Open the link
and Open the link
. For a complete screening schedule and more information about the film festival, visit Open the link
or call (02) 741-9782.
Howard Hawks Special
Always offering celebrated art films, Film Forum will pay tribute to memorable American director Howard Hawks (1896-1977), the creator of classics like "Scarface" (1932) and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) starring the immortal Marilyn Monroe. The retrospective special will take place August 10-18.
Stay tuned for more information to be soon announced. Film Forum is located in Jongno-gu. To find out more about the theater, visit Open the link
or call (02) 764-6236.
Docu Plus In NADA
Hypertheque NADA, located at Dongsoong Art Center in Daehakno, has always been a haven for art films. The theater will screen a unique documentary film every Wednesday night until August 29.
Today: Choi Hyun-jung's "Korean Don Quixote, Lee Hise" (2006) is about the dramatic turn of events in the life of a famous artist who is suddenly condemned as a Communist spy from East Berlin __ even though he has never even been to the German city.
August 1: Joo Hyeon-sook
's "She Is"
(2007) gives a voice to foreign brides in Korea. With the rising number of international marriages, the problems involved are often discussed through the mass media, but it is rare to hear the women speak for themselves.
August 8: In "Catch the Big Brother" (2006), Park Jeong-mi suggests that George Orwell's classic novel "1984" has become a reality because security cameras can trace almost every step of a person's daily life.
August 15: In "192-322, The Story About the House Living Together" (2006), Lee Hyun-jung
traces the efforts of a group of homeless people to reenter society after living in an empty house. But circumstances change considerably when a particularly cruel winter hits.
August 22: In "To Find Tiger Kim" (2006), Koo Bon-hwan digs up stories and truths surrounding a late relative, known and respected in his family as Tiger Kim.
August 29: "Lady Camellia
" (2006) by Park Jeongsuk
portrays the hardships of a woman with leprosy.
For theater information, visit Open the link
or call (02) 766-3390. For more about the festival, visit Open the link
Avid moviegoers who see films at two or more theaters participating in the Next Plus Summer Film Festival may receive 1,000 won discounts. Other exciting events await you, so dive into cinematic fun! For more information, visit Open the link