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Carol Medlicott

1973. In many ways these five serve as prototypes for other North Korean films. And although the film versions are all some thirty years old, they are regarded as among North Korea’s ‘classic’ films, and they are continually reproduced in live theatre. Thus, the influence of the imagery they contain arguably remains strong. By exploring the alleged highlights of Kim Il Sung’s anti-Japanese struggle

in Cinematic countrysides
Editor: Robert Fish

Staging an encounter between cinema and countryside is to invoke a rich and diverse spatial imagery. This book explores the reciprocal relationship between film and the rural: how film makes rural and rural makes film. Part I of the book explores the idea of the nationhood and relatedly, how cinematic countrysides frame the occupancy and experience of border zones. It covers representations of the Australian landscape and the spatial imagery behind the 'inculcation of political ideology' of North Korean films. European 'films of voyage' are a cinematic tradition that articulates representations of the countryside with questions of boundaries and cultural diversity. The 'pagan' landscape of British cinema and the American and British war films are also discussed. Part II focuses on the role that countrysides play in mediating national self-image through globalising systems of cinematic production. Films such as The Local Hero and The Lord of the Rings, the latter in the context of New Zealand as a shooting location, are discussed. The third part of the book focuses on two key markers of social identity and difference - 'childhood' and 'masculinity' - which serve to amplify how embodied identities come to inflect the idea of rural space. A family's relocation to the countryside from the city serves to emphasise that they are isolated from the moral structures that might contain their deviant behaviour. Part IV of the book deals with, inter alia, the Amber Film and Photography Collective, and amateur films on the former coalfields of Durham.

Hyangjin Lee

international. In the case of the North Korean films, the official commentary by the Party was also taken into consideration. As for the accessibility of North Korean films, priority was given to films that are available overseas in video format. Ch’oe Hakshin’s Family, The Sea of Blood and Wŏlmi Island have been distributed internationally as representative works of North Korean cinema. South Korean films pose far less problems

in Contemporary Korean cinema
Abstract only
Hyangjin Lee

in shaping the self-identities of a nation. The present study demonstrates the function of cinema to embody the conflicting perceptions of society and nation held by the Korean people who live under the two different political and economic systems. Under the observable differences between South and North Korean films, however, my analysis also uncovers the sustaining power of cultural homogeneity among the Korean people, which has not been

in Contemporary Korean cinema
Robert Fish

throughout the country’s history’. This distillation process is complex and contradictory not least in the way that cinematic representations of landscape can be rendered both complicit with, and critical of, colonial experience. In Chapter 3 , Carol Medlicott explores a largely uncharted tradition of national cinema in her account of North Korean film. Here the relationship between cultural production, national identity and rurality is given a less

in Cinematic countrysides
Identity, culture and politics
Author: Hyangjin Lee

Film in Korea has always been under governmental censorship. This book examines the ways in which Korean film reveals the ideological orientation of the society in which it is created and circulated. It examines the social and political milieu in which the Korean film industry developed from its beginning during the Japanese colonial period to its bifurcation into South and North Korean cinemas. The book presents a critical analysis of the selected films, which were all made between 1960 and 1990. It discusses the cultural identity of contemporary Koreans by analysing five films based on a popular traditional folk tale, Ch'unhyangjŏn. Three of the five films were made in South Korea: Shin Sangok's Song Ch'unhyang, Pak T'ae-wŏn's The Tale of Song Ch'unhyang and Han Sanghun's SongCh'unhyang. The significance of gender and class issues in Ch'unhyangjŏn can be glimpsed through the three variants of the film title. The book then examines the notion of nationhood held by contemporary Koreans from two interrelated perspectives, political and cultural. It explores the films in relation to the conflicting ideological orientations of North and South Korea. In the North Korean films, anti-imperialism constitutes the core of their definition of nationhood. Class is one of the foremost factors in the formation of cultural identities of contemporary Koreans living as a divided nation. The book discusses six films in this context: The Untrodden Path, The Brigade Commander's Former Superior, Bellflower, A Nice Windy Day, Kuro Arirang and Black Republic.

Hyangjin Lee

for the third part of this chapter, which explores how South and North Korean films tailor differently the common legacy of Confucian sexual morality and class distinction. This phase focuses specifically on the emerging patterns of similarities and dissimilarities between the South and the North in their interpretation of gender and class within the ideological contexts of the respective societies that produced the works

in Contemporary Korean cinema
A history of Korean cinema
Hyangjin Lee

described in terms of governmental intervention and resistance to such interference. The emergence of Korean film during the colonial period testifies to the dynamics of these two oppositional forces. As the Korean Workers’ Party adopted strict guidelines on every aspect of film-making and distribution, North Korean film has served exclusively as a propaganda instrument. The South Korean film industry was also subject to

in Contemporary Korean cinema
Abstract only
Hyangjin Lee

the historical course of the national division and its aftermath; the third category commonly depicts the social realities of the divided nation. My analysis focuses on the character portrayal and main themes of the films. A comparative reading of South and North Korean films exhibits the patterns of similarities and dissimilarities in terms of their ideological orientations. Films dealing with the same subject-matter are

in Contemporary Korean cinema
Hyangjin Lee

considerable historical period’. 6 Class issues are at the core of the ideological foundation of North Korea; therefore, it is not surprising at all that they have remained major preoccupations of North Korean film-makers throughout film history. Nearly all North Korean films, in fact, deal with class issues in one way or another. Their treatment of the subject is invariably driven by the motivation to indoctrinate North Korean

in Contemporary Korean cinema