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Top Cineastes to Grace Art Film Fest

2009/01/20 | 493 views | Permalink | Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

That special time of the year has come around, when South Korea's top filmmakers and actors turn into film festival programmers. The 4th Cinematheque Friends Film Festival will take place Jan. 29-March 1 in Seoul, and director Park Chan-wook and some 20 other cineastes will meet with the audience to show and discuss 26 movies they have personally selected.

"I don't think there is a film festival like the Cinematheque Friends Film Festival anywhere else in the world", Park told reporters last week in Seoul. "Where else can you see all the representative cineastes ― directors, critics and stars ― gather in one place to introduce, watch and discuss old movies with fans?"

"Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" (1927) by F.W. Murnau will open the festival. Actors Kwon Hae-hyo and Ye Ji-won will host the opening event at Cinematheque Seoul Art Cinema in Jongno.

The country's singular "cinema library" will transform into "The Cinematheque of Happiness", a venue for screenings and live conversation. Festival programmers have chosen classic Hollywood movies including Marylin Monroe's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953), and other selections by participating actors and directors vary in time and space, ranging from Italian classics to Korean contemporary films.

Conversing With Stars

Park, the creator of the "Vengeance" trilogy, and director Oh Seung-wook ("Kilimanjaro") chose three films starring the "best villains": Marco Ferreri's "The Grande Bouffe" (1973), Andrzej Zulawski's "Possession" (1981) and Jules Dassin's "Night and the City" (1950). They will join the audience after each screening (Feb. 7-8) to discuss the films.

Director Jeon Gye-soo ("The Ghost Theater") and heartthrob Ha Jung-woo ("The Chaser") will join the audience for "His Girl Friday" (1940), Feb. 20. Jeon said he chose the movie because his upcoming project starring Ha is also a romantic comedy. "When romantic comedies started to appear in the sound film era, `His Girl Friday' presented something new and fresh. It is heavy with dialogue and takes place in a limited space, but it has an exciting tempo", he said, adding that the film might inspire him for his own work. "I also wanted to show Ha Jung-woo, Cary Grant", he said.

Ryoo Seung-wan, the hip young maker of "Dachimawa Lee", will speak about "All the Marbles" (1981) Feb. 12 and "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" director Kim Jee-woon will present "Boy Meets Girl" (1984) Feb. 14. The following evening, veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki will provide commentaries on "Midnight Cowboy" (1969).

Hong Sang-soo, the master of minimal realism ("Night and Day"), will present "Greed" (1924) Feb. 22.

Also featured in the festival is "Mouchette" (1967) by Robert Bresson. "Cinema Angels" ― actors Lee Na-young, Kim Joo-hyuk, Shin Ha-kyun, Jung Jae-young, Ha Jung-woo, Park Hae-il and Kim Kang-woo ― have donated funds to purchase the film for the cinematheque.

Festivalgoers will also be able to see an exhibition of photos taken by some 30 cineastes, including directors Im Kwon-taek, Park Chan-wook and Yim Soon-rye and actors Ha Jung-woo and Ryeo Seung-beom.

Many non-English language films are offered with English subtitles. Tickets cost 6,000 won for adults, 5,000 won for teenagers and 4,000 won for senior citizens and the physically disabled. Admissions for the opening ceremony is 10,000 won (including the after party).

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