Seen in Jeonju

Archive for April, 2012

Korean Box Office: April 13-15

16th April 2012


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New Korean Movies on DVD: April 15-21

15th April 2012

I have been busy getting ready to give mid-term exams which at the university I teach at will start this coming Friday and finish up on the following Thursday. I am always busiest the week before exams as find making tests far more work than giving or checking them.  But on the bright side, this is another good week for buying DVDs– there are several on this list I will certainly be ordering this week including Children of Darkness, The Kick and Ghost. Below is the list of the five films being released this week.

children of darkness

Children of Darkness (1981) directed by Lee Jang-ho and starring Na Yeong-hee, Kim Hee-ra and Ahn Seong-gi.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: None/ Rating: for ages 18+/ Format: 4:3 full screen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 100 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 16,500 KRW/ Available: April 17th.

Pace Maker directed by Kim Dal-joong, starring Kim Yeong-min, Ahn Seong-gi and Ko Ah-ra.  Number of discs: 2/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: for ages 12+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 124 minutes plus 59 minutes of extras on second disc/ Suggested Retail Price: 23,100 KRW/ Available: April 18th

The Kick directed by Prachyn Pinkaew starring Jo Jae-hyeon, Ye Ji-won and Na Tae-joo.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean only/ Rating: for ages 12+/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.0/ Running Time: 105 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: April 20th.

flying butterfly

Ghost, an ombibus directed by various directors and starring Lee Min-ho and Shin Ji-soo.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: for ages 15+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 109 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 22,000 KRW/ Available: April 20th.

Flying Butterfly, a documetary directed by Jeong Heum-moon and starring Yoon Do-hyeon and his band.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: for all ages/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 101 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 22,000 KRW/ Available: April 20th.

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The Independent: May 28th, 1896

11th April 2012

Continuing the weekly project of retyping Korea’s first English-language newspaper, his week’s issue is Vol.1, No. 23 from Thursday, May 28th, 1896. In this issue:  The police continue to crackdown on ’sorceresses’, a mob in Paju takes justice into their own hands, the editor discusses his impressions of Siam, and the Waebers throw a party. <<Reminder:  All opinions expressed in the newspaper are the views of the editors of The Independent. They do not reflect the opinions of this website and are reproduced here for the sole purpose of providing historical context>>



To one who watches the papers with care it would seem as if Siam were like the little fish in the Korean fable– between two whales. It may be even more applicable than common in this case for we are informed by scientists that whales’ throats are too small to swallow large objects but that they can comsume great numbers of small ones with ease.  It can scarcely be expected therefore that two whales can make a full meal off one small fish, and the only hope for her is that the two big neighbors will find it inconvenient to both swallow her at the same time. Some such fortunate conclusion seems to have been reached and for the time at least both England and France have agreed to call a halt in the dismemberment of Siam. It is a pleasure to learn from the Hon. John Barrett, Minister Resident and Consul General of the US to Siam, who is now stopping in Seoul, that Siam has not for many a year been in so hopeful a condition as she is in today.  In spite of losses of territory she still holds the whole valley of the Menam River which is the richest part of the whole Indo-Chinese peninsula. Today her territory far exceeds Korea in extent, while in richness there can probably be little comparison.

We generally think of Siam as being ruled by a barbaric sovereign, conservative, ignorant, cruel perhaps.  But if so we are quite mistaken.  The King of Siam is an educated, intelligent man and speaks English fluently. Two of his sons are graduates of Oxford University, England, and his cabinet is composed of large-minded, progressive men who have been in close contact with the world and are thoroughly well informed.  They are to a considerable extent westernized, as we may say, for they have adopted many of the customs of the west especially in the matter of games.  Tennis, billiards, cricket, polo and such sports are engaged in by them freely. Under the lead of such men it would be strange if Siam should not make rapid progress.  We may not thefact that the King of Siam is now the ony independent sovereign in southern Asia east of Afghanistan.  We would like to have the experiment tried as to whether a kingdom in the tropics cannot, if properly led, be as successful in every sense as if tanken in hand by some western power.  Perhaps the negative would be proved, for certainly English rule of India, if we except the policy carried out in regard to opium, has been a splendid success. At the same time it would be interesting to see whether such a thing as enlightened patriotism might not prove a strong factor in national growth.  We ordinarily thnk of patriotism and the tropics as unassimilible things but the fact is wehave had very few chances to witness the results of enlightened patriotism in the tropics. The republic of San Domingo, Liberia and perhaps Cuba of today would indicate that patriotism may thrive between Cancer and Capricorn but they would hardly serve as a basis of comparison between the results of Caucasian suzerainty and purely native or indigenous enterprise. <Suzerainty: A nation that controls another nation in international affairs but allows it domestic sovereignty– I had to look that word up..   tom>

Brief Notice

There can be but one opinion in regard to the entertainment given by the Russian Minister and Mrs Waeber last Tuesday, and that is that it was entirely worthy of the event it was intended to celebrate.  We do not see what more could have been done to lend eclat to the occasion and impress upon all minds the momentousness of the interests involved in the coronation of the Russian Emperor. Such an entertainment is an expression of good-will, of friendship, of peace, and there is not one who does not trust that this will be the predominant feature of the reign of the new Emperor.  The Russian Legation was was gaily decorated with flags of different nations. During the day the Foreign Representatives and others called and officered their congratulations and in the evening a large company gathered to celebrate the event.  Countless Japanese lanterns supplemented the light of a brilliant full moon and the Legation was a blaze of light.  In the assembly America, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Russia were all represented. After a pleasant hour spent in conversation and witnessing of fireworks, Mr Waeber escorted Mrs Sill to the refreshment salon follwed by Mr Komura and Mrs Waeber and the other guests.  Mr. Waeber first proposed the health of the Russian Emperor and Empress which was enthusiastically responded to by the company.  The the Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Yi Wan Yong, proposed the same toast which was again drunk with cheers.  Then Mr Waeber proposed the health of His Korean Majesty  which eliceted applause. Mr Sill proposed a toast to the host and hostess which was heartily responded to.  Somewhat after midnight the company dispersed carrying with them the memory of one of the most brilliant entertainments ever given in Korea.

The police of Chemulpo have followed the example of the Seoul police in the matter of sorceresses.  A few days ago a mudang was raising a disturbance in a home at the port and the police promptly stopped it, but the mayor Im O Chun, at the instigation of his concubine, called the policemen and berated them for enforcing the rule.  The policemen have a hard road to travel if they are to be at the beck and nod of officials’ concubines.

It is reported that the Chief of the Mint in Chemulpo, Yi Ho Sang, used $3,000 of Government money in carrying on a pawnbroker’s business in the port and vicinity.  We hope the Finance Dept will make a thorough investigation and if the charge is proved that punishment will be inflicted.

A fire broke out Sunday night in the new barracks in front of the Palace. Twenty-five kun were burned before the fire was gotten under control.  It would be a good investment for the Government to purchase a few fire engines and train some of the police force as firemen.

“You have no heart.”  Pale, but tearless, she stood before him and looked him squarely in the eye. She was poor but proud. Adverse fortune had reduced her wardrobe to calico basics, driven her and her only surviving mother to the top flat of a Wabash Avenue apartment house and hardened the lines about her still beautiful mouth, but it could not dim the lustre of her blue-black eye nor tame the unconquerable spirit that animated every fibre of her lissome form standing erect with unconscious grace and awaiting his answer.  “You have no heart,” she repeated. “No, Miss, ” replied the butcher, “but we’ve got some mighty nice liver; will that do just as well?”

This morning the Nichi Nichi gives the following as the points round which the negotiations between Japan and Russia turn; (1) The return of the King to the Palace. His return to the Palace is desired by the Korean Government, yet he remains in at the Russian Legation. No matter what circumstances may call for his staying outside the palace, the sovereign of an independent country should not abide in a foreign Legation. (2) The disposal of Japanese troops stationed in Korea. When troops or men of war of the two powers are stationed in Korea, as is now the case, not only is the prestige of Korea as an independent Kingdom menaced, but there is danger of complication arising, so that it is necessary to restrict the number of troops in Korea. (3)  The disposla of Japanese telegraph lines in Korea.  As Japan constructed telegraph lines in the interior of Korea, an independent country, it has been necessary for troops to protect the lines, and the pressence of these have provoked attacks by Korean insurgents. For this reason the telegraph lines must be disposed of in one way or another; either they should be disposed of in some way or they must be maintained under certain conditions. It will thus be seen that the subjects of negotiation, adds the Nichi Nichi, are not such matters as require to be permanently agreed on by treaty.  They will be dealt with therefore only in diplomatic notes.

The Magistrate of Po Chun reports that the district militia attacked and routed insurgents in Kim Wha and Kim Sung but the congregated again in Yung Pyung and looted villages in that neighborhood. They number about fifty.

The Communication Bureau has ordered the magistrates of the districts through which telegraph lines pass to report the amount of damage done in their several districts. The government wil begin repairs as soon as the reports are in.

The Governor of Seoul reports that the people of five villages in Pa Ju, numbering some 300, brought seven highwaymen to the magistrate and asked for permission to kill them, whe he did reluctantly for fear of personal injury.  The infuriated mob threw the men into the river.

Leiut. Kim Pyung Wak reports that a policeman Pak Chun Sup wnet in disguise into the stronghold of insurgents in Po Sung district and seized the chief Kim Chang im and his son Kim Suk Heun and successfully brought them out and delivered them to the authorities at Chun Ju where they were shot.

The Governor of Tai Ku reports that the Seoul officers have dispersed the insurgents in Chin Ju district but they are still going about in small bands disturbing the villages. If the soldiers are withdrawn these bands will reunite for further mischief.  The Governor asks the War Office to let the troops remain in Chin Ju for three months more.

We are informed that some disbursing clerks of certain departments lend money as a matter of accommoation to their friends as well as for financial gain.  It is not only dangerous but a criminal practice and should be dealt with severely by the heads of departments.

The new chief of the Government Steamship company in Chemulpo, the Yi Won Sa, named Pang Nam Ju, has been dismissing the old employees of the company without cause and replacing them by his friends who have no knowledge of the shipping business. He said it was by order of the Minister of Agriculture to dismiss the employees who were appointed by the former chief. We do not believe the Minister gave any such order as we know him to be an honest and conscientious offical.

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Trailers for Korean films Opening April 12th

10th April 2012

We have ten new movies opening this week, two from Korea. First we have The Scent, a new crime thriller from Director Kim Hyeong-joon and which stars Park Hee-soon and Park Shi-yeon.

We also have the sci-fi omnibus offering various end-of-the-world senarios from directors Kim Ji-woon and Im Pil-seong. (The original trailer shows a space rock rather than the eight-ball in the newer trailers. I wonder what was the reason for the change was…)

Eight other movies are opening. We have Battle in Heaven (belgium), Queen of Hearts (france), Ways to Live Forever (england) and Hamilton: In the Interest of the Nation (sweden). From the USA we have Better Life, Beauty and the Beast 3D, Battleship and Beaver

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Korean Box Office: April 6-8

9th April 2012


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Korean Film Index: 1970s, Kang Dae-seon

8th April 2012

Director Kang Dae-seon was born on December 28, 1938.  He dropped out of university and started working for a Korean film magazine called World Movies. He worked as part of the editing staff and the connections he made there got him  a foot in the door when Shin Sang-ok established Shin Productions.  He did odd jobs there including a bit of acting, writing dialogue and planning of films.  He finally debuted as a director in his own right in 1971.  He made 11 films during this decade and continued directing films until the end of the 1980s.  I had previously posted information on the majority of his films from this decade, and only the three listed below remain. To see these, click the thumbnail and expand the image.  You can also access the plates of this other films by clicking the tab marked “the 1970s” at the top of this page and browsing through the directors by family name.  Up next, Kang Moon-soo and Kim Cheong-gi. 

kangdaeseon1974 cheonmashingeom, kangdaeseon1975 foolyongchil, kangdaeseon1976 nightschool

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New DVD Releases: April 8-14

7th April 2012

There are four Korean films being released on DVD this week.  Three of them are films that I must own for my collection and will be sending in an order later in the week. I will be passing on Love On-Air, but it is a matter of personal taste more than anything else. I have to wonder though, why was Love On-Air given a 2-disc treatment when it was seen by less than a million people during its theatrical run while Spellbound, seen by more than 3 times that number, is only being released in a basic, 1-disc package.


LOVE ON-AIR– d. Kwon Chil-in, starring Lee Min-jeong and Lee Jeong-jin.  Number of discs: 2/ Subtitles: Korean & English/ Rating: for ages 15+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 120 minutes plus 64 minutes of extras/ Suggested Retail Price: 23,100 KRW/ Available: April 11

SPELLBOUND– d. Hwang In-ho, starring Son Ye-jin and Lee Min-gi.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean & English/ Rating: for ages 12+/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 114 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: April 12


REC– directed by So Jeon-moon, starring Song Sam-dong and Jo Hye-hoon.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles:  Korean and English/ Rating: for ages 18+/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 66 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price:  25,300 KRW/ Available: April 12 

BYEONG-TAE AND YEONG-JA–The 1979 sequel to the classic and,at the time of its release, controversial, March of Fools!  This is directed by  Ha Gil-jong, starring Song Jeong-hwan and Lee Yeong-ok.  Number of discs: 1/Subtitles: None/  Rating: for ages 12+/ Format: 4:3 widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 115 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 16,500 KRW/ Available: April 13th.

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Program of the 13th Jeonju International Film Festival

7th April 2012

The 13th annual Jeonju International Film Festival will open this year on April 26 and run through May 4th.   It is not too early to begin planning what movies you want to see if you are coming.  Since many of these films will later get limited theatrical releases and eventually DVD releases, even if you are not coming, you can still appreciate what will be showing.  ((All film descriptions and images are taken from the JIFF program recently made available at press conferences in Seoul and Jeonju and is not available for download on the Jiff website))   The following is a list of films, both short and feature length, in competition at the festival but this is less than a third of the total films screening. There are many more including some interesting retrospectives and numerous films from South America.  To see a full list, visit the JIFF website at 

opening film

French-Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier’s second feature-length drama Sister (L’enfant d’en haut) is a well-made coming of age film which calmly portrays the dragging lives of the brother and sister; Simon, who has learnt a dangerous way of life between the poor valley down below and the up high ski resort of the rich, and Louise, who seems to have entered the world of grown-ups at a very young age and wanders through life aimlessly.

closing film

The 13th Jeonju International Film Festival’s closing film is A Simple Life (Tao Jie) by Ann Hui, which has been premiered last year at Venice International Film Festival and received a huge acclaim from critics. The story focuses on the relationship between film producer Roger (Andy Lau) andhis amah Tao Jie (Deanie Ip), who has served his family for over 60 years through 4 generations, which, in the film, is described more like a mother-son relationship rather than the one of usual master and servant. After Tao Jie has a stroke she seeks for a nursing home in order not to be a burden to Roger who is unable to stick by her side because of his work. Since she moves to the nursing home, how she grows accustomed to her new surroundings, the life of the people at the nursing home, the dedication and the deep affection Roger and his family feel for Tao and how she faces her death, all these stories are being depicted calmly and candidly without any sentimental blow, but masterly enough to gradually touch something deep inside our hearts. The elements such as the contrast between Asian and Western perspectives, the gap between different generations and social classes, are being handled with a subtle touch as inherent components of Hong Kong as a social and cultural complex rather than the ones for dramatic conflicts.

international competition

I initially tried to just post the images since they have the film descriptions written on them, but between the pink color and the size of the print, it is impossible to read.. for me at least.. so I will include the English descriptions written on the image below each set pictures.  For once, grammar and spelling mistakes are not mine ^^;

about the pink sky

About the Pink Sky (Japan): Izumi, whose daily routine is rating newspaper articles, finds a wallet containing a large sum of cash. She eventually returns the wallet to its owner, a wealthy high-school boy named Koki, who notices the missing money, and as compensation, asks Izumi to do something for his friend.

Ex Press (Philippines): Fiction and fact are mixed as in a dream. A dream about trains and the sinister affairs that surround them. The young filmmaker only needed one take for each scene. Metaphorically speaking, the entire country is moving, like a train, and the population suffers from institutionalized brutality.

It Looks Pretty From a Distance (Poland): Unfolding in a secluded Polish village by the woods and a river, it is a love story between a scrapper and a girl. The men’s disappearance triggers a chain of unexpected events in the strikingly beautiful surroundings, under the scorching sun human evil surfaces.

It’s the Earth, Not the Moon (Portugal): Situated in the Archipelago of Azores, Corvo is one of the autonomous regions of Portugal and the smallest island in Europe. Agriculture and dairy farming are the main industry for most of its 440 residents. Amidst beautiful scenery, the director collects and records simple but wise life stories, turning the island itself into the film’s protagonist.


Padak (Korea):  It’s a fish’s story about the struggle after he trapped in a little aquarium of a sashimi house. The fish gets in lots of trouble with the old flat fish who actually powered all over the aquarium. It’s a new vivid animation of the fish’s fierce journey.

The River Used to Be a Man (Germany): A German man makes a trip to a foggy village in Africa. His bizarre journey begins when his boatman dies. By describing how a European experiences Africa’s belief in traditional superstition after a man’s death, this film provides a fresh perspective on psychological isolation and conflict.

Southwest (Brazil): In a secluded Brazilian coastal village, where everything seems to stand still, Clarisse watches her life over the course of a day, unlike those around her who live that day just like any other. She tries to understand her obscure reality and the destiny of the people around her in a circling, disturbing sense of time.

Summer of Giacomo (Italy):  A summer day in Italy. The camera follows the deaf-mute Giacomo and a childhood girlfriend Stefi closely – in the woods, by the river – without wanting to disrupt the mystery of their relationship, between restrained sensuality and childhood games.

twilight p

Twilight Potrait (Russia) :  A social worker, a child psychologist in the middle life crisis, Marina, gets injured by policemen. She seeks revenge. Then she finally meets the initiator of the dramatic event, she decides to use her professional skills instead of common weapons.

Two Years at Sea (UK): A man called Jake lives in the middle of the forest. He is seen in all seasons, surviving frugally, passing the time with strange projects, living the radical dream he had as a younger man, a dream he spent two years working at sea to realize.

korean competition

big good

Ankorwat (Korea):  Park Il-rae dreams of a better life for his family, but is cheated out of his entire family savings. In deep despair, Il-rae decides to commit suicide together with his family. The movie reaches out to those who are hurt and forced in the corner in their lives.

Big Good (Korea):  In his mother’s absence, Hyeong-geun conspires to gain independence along with his music-loving friend. They try to rent the small room attached to his mother’s store to make some extra cash. Meantime, a senior from school encourages them to explore the vastness of the ‘World Wide Web.’

Bhikkuni- Buddhist Nuns (Korea):  Baekheungam is a training temple for female Buddhist monks keeping away from the public. There are monks who left material things and the secular world, and entered into Buddhism. The film tells the inside stories of Baekheungam; the female monks are silently stepping on for the awakening.

Fire in Hell (Korea): Ji-wol, a Buddhist monk, is excommunicated because of an inappropriate affair with a female believer. He rapes and kills another woman and leaves with her ashes for the Philippines where her family lives. However, there he falls in love with her twin sister. A shocking interpretation of karma.

 jeju prayer

Jeju Prayer (Korea):  Focusing on Mrs. Kang sang-hee’s life, she lost her husband in Jeju Uprising (March 3rd, 1948). The film views the dark-side of Jeju Island, a huge grave, which is completely opposite of the other side of the island, the famous tourist attraction. It says that the tragedy has been going on about the recent Gang-jeong village situation.

Morning Glory (Korea):   Hyun-jun, a musical actor, makes his mind to go abroad for further study. He returns to his hometown where he meets his cousin So-yeon. After getting a taste of the countryside with her, So-yeon makes the unexpected confession that she has loved him for a long time.

Sleepless Night (Korea):  2 years into marriage, the couple hesitates to have a baby. Money is the biggest obstacle. They are rushed by others around, however the pressure makes their love sturdier some time. A report about the marriage in real life, not a fantasy.

Without Father (Korea):  Two Japanese women, who have lived in Korea with a difference of a half century, go to Japan. They are Yoko in Kawashima Watkins’ So Far from the Bamboo Grove and Masako living in Korea after the marriage with a Korean. The audience will follow their journey through the views of the two women. 


Comedy (Korea):  A former comedian has been run down and run out of money. He works a part-time job as a replacement driver with a whiny baby that gives him no peace. He is faced with the irony of his life that trying to be funny and work “for fun” doesn’t bring you any in the end. 

Early Spring, Gyeongju (Korea):  After her divorce, Hee-myeong leaves Seoul for Gyeongju where her mother lives. However her ex Jun-ho follows her and begs to get back together, while she only wants to go back to the time before everything became so entangled.

Ik Hou Van Jou (Korea):  Dae-hyun works at a glass factory and is secretly in love with someone. She has been dating Joo-sung, who is Dae-hyun’s junior colleague. While their relationship is going well, Dae-hyun talks anxiously about Joo-sung behind his back to Sun-hwa.

The Day Going to Market (Korea):  The director attends his parents who come and go between Seoul and Twaechon to go to market for their restaurant twice a month. They are usual trips for him. However, in the usual trips, he reminds himself of changing things, unchanging things, and shouldn’t-change things.

white nightWhite Night (Korea):  Won-gyu, a steward, returns to Seoul 2 years after he left with a painful memory. He meets Tae-jun acquainted on the Web and they have a special night at the place of Won-gyu’s bad memory. A queer film by Leesong hee-il inspired by an actual case of random street assault by a homophobe in Jong-no.

korean short film competition


Hoarders (Korea):  Recycling workers and artists in Hwanghak-dong appear very different and opposed at first; however, through a communal system of rotation, they achieve a kind of social equilibrium. The film stands on the border between labor and art, asking questions about art’s true nature.

Kids On Board (Korea):  Geun-woo is a boy in a small mountain town. Slowly, his friends begin to move away. Even Hyun-woo, his last friend, eventually leaves. With concise cinematic rhetoric, the film shows the progressive extinction of a small village communitythrough the day of a boy left alone.

Amateur (Korea):  Yu-ri is working on the pre-production for her own film. She feels great sympathy for the middle-aged woman character, ‘Ajumma,’ although she is estranged from her own mother. Identity, self-reflection and the gap between filmmaking and real life are explored through this unique cinematic experiment.

Memories of the Night (Korea):    After breaking up with Jun-young, Hyun-ji recalls the time he first confessed his love to her. She recalls the day they went to see the skeleton Jun-young had found when he was young. Nostalgia mixes with lyricism as Hyun-ji sifts through memories of the past.

noodle fish

Who Killed Gong Jung-Hwa? (Korea):  Twenty nine-year old Jung-hwa spends her meaningless days without any desires. She embarks on a destitute journey until news of her death arrives. The director explores the plight of today’s youth, forced into endless competition and introspection.

The Arrival (Korea):  A woman who once lived in China as a Korean refugee searches for her former lover in Seoul. The film takes us on an exhausting urban journey thr ough themes of displacement and loss.

Noodle Fish (Korea):  Noodle Fish is a fresh and distinctive animated short, made with plain noodles bought from regular markets. The film tells the story of a small and sincere “noodle fish” as it struggles to leave the water.

Shadow Monster (Korea):  While a mother is asleep, a thrilling duel occurs between a child and a shadow monster. Shadow Monster is an interesting work based on the changing character of shadows depending on the angles, directions and the distance of light.


Nun (Korea):  A woman starts her job at a cell-phone plant. She cannot get used to everyone sitting and working in same monotonous manner with the same expressionless looks. Can she be of help to the man she runs into by chance outside the factor?

The House (Korea):  A window is painted on white paper and a middle aged man appears, looking like a landlord. As rent has risen, the window gradually descends from the 2nd floor, to the first floor, to the basement, until finally vanishing. The body of the man also begins to descend.

Paradise (Korea):  In the near future where water is nearly all dried up, a penguin survives by digging up canned foods on some deserted seaside. One day, the penguin finds the body of a gigantic whale and brings it home for food. But the “dead” whale suddenly opens up its eyes. 

Allegro (Korea):  Depending only on his sneakers, the courier service man weaves his way through the residential jungle, which is difficult for even cars to pass through. With thrilling agility and ingenuity, he avoids every obstacle… except his boss.


Dusts (Korea):  At an abandoned construction site at night, roaming spirits talk to us in the form of dust, rocks, broken branches and whistling wind. Interweaving small pieces of daily life, the director expresses his lament about the sense of loss for the people who have left.

Expansion of Anxiety (Korea):  Using seemingly random footage of mobs, the director creates dramatic incidents by blowing up footage, making unrelated cuts or mixing music. A skillful take on distortion and misconception in modern media and the audience’s addiction to stimulation.

Interfere (Korea): Interfere is a fascinating experimental film that captur es delicate moments produced by the convergence of water and structure, line and face. The camera tenaciously observes the splendid and unpr edictable interaction between the
bridge piers and the Han River flow.

Tree or Wood (Korea):  Trees are readily seen in our surroundings. Their wood grains are like beautiful abstract paintings. Tree Or Wood is a sharp warning about attempting to process the genuine beauty of nature and becoming obsessed with artifial beauty.

Why Does the Wind Blow? (Korea):  Why Does Wind Blow has been r econstituted from instructional 16mm films collected by the director from film archives. It presents a sensational experience through the juxtaposition of visualized movement of physical objects and the cinematic creation of time.

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Off Topic

6th April 2012


I didn’t really feel like posting anything tonight.  A few hours ago I learned that Sassy, my beautiful friend, passed away today.  Although technically she belonged to my mother and really only saw me for a month or two out of the year, we were very close… much closer than I have ever been to an animal before. And she was more affectionate to meet than to some of my siblings whom she saw on a regular basis.  We just hit it off from the first time we met.  Sassy was adopted out of an animal shelter when she was less than a year old.  Her original owners had named her “Baby” and apparently told the shelter staff that they had wanted to raise a puppy as practice for when their own child was born. As it was getting close to the end of the pregnancy, they no longer wanted the dog as they didn’t think they could handle a pet and a child.  There may have been some abuse as Sassy, in the first week of living in my mother’s house, used to cringe whenever she saw a broom, though she soon got over that.  She was never hit or scolded in the entire twelve years that she lived with my family.. there was never any need to scold her.  She was incredibly well-behaved and only wanted to please. She was the least dog-like dog I have ever known. And the smartest.

Unfortunatley Rottweilers do not live long.. 10-13 years on average.  She had been diagnosed with stomach cancer recently, a problem in her breed but because of her age they could not guarentee successful surgery. She seemed fine though and ate normally.. until this week.  She had to be taken to the vet and was put to sleep.  I wish that I had been there to be able to say goodbye.

I will miss her more than I can express.

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The Independent: May 26th, 1896

4th April 2012

Continuing the weekly project of retyping Korea’s first English-language newspaper. This week’s issue is Vol.1, No. 22 from Tuesday, May 26th, 1896. This week: The revolution in the countryside is in full swing, the Royal English School adopts western-style uniforms for their students, the editor muses over why Korean government minister resign on a regular basis, and Miss Doty goes on vacation!   <<Just a reminder. All opinions expressed belong to the long-dead editor of the Independent and do not reflect this website’s opinion>>



Korea is second only to France n the rapidity of change from one ministry to another.  So far as we can see there are no more than two reasons for this.  The first is fear of personal danger and the second disinclination to undergo the fatigue and the responsibility of the position.  As to the first reason we cannot blame the Korean for it.  Suppose for an instant that by some, at present unforesen, cinrcumstance the opposing party should again hold a position relative to the government similar to the one they held previous to the 11th of February. <Prior to Feb. 11 refers to the date until which King Gojong was held captive in the palace and the traitorous ministers issued false edicts supposedly signed by His Majesty–tom> It would mean, to a greater or less extent, that the men now accepting important positions under the government are by so doing simply making a bid for imprisonment, decapitation perhaps; at least banishment.  It is very much to the point then to ask whether the sweets of office are sweet enough to be worth the risk.  When we remember what the former Government did to a large number of people who were or were not connected with the disturbance of Nov. 28th we can set it down as sure that in case they were in the ascendent there would be little check to revengeful impulseson the part of men in power. <The distrubance referred to here are the false edicts and laws passed while the king was prisoner including the declaration that the murdered Queen was actually a commoner and the infamous “Top-Knot” edict.  The rapidity of the declarations and new laws touched off the rebellions throughout the country–tom> In that case some members of the present cabinet would again be driven to the wall and have to seek asylum as best they could.  So much for the undesirability of office from the standpoint of personal danger. It is a real, a personal, a tangible and fairly convincing arguement.

As to the other reason for the rapid changes, it is quite true that there is not the energy, the push, the vigor manifested by Korean officials that we would like to see.  During the last few months, some splendid results, have been achieved but they were the work of comparatively a few menand are individual achievements in a sense.  What we would like to see is a cabinet every member of whic would for a time forget his personal inclinations and throw itself as one man into the work of clearing up the present difficulties, formulating a definite plan of action and pushing towards its accomplishment.  A virorous policy would lessen the factor of personal danger to a marked degree.  To act as if danger were momentarily impending seems to us to be courting danger.  It is all well enough for people to say they ought to have patriotism enough to be willing to undergo fatigue and personal discomfort but we may as well admit that, that kind of patriotism is “few and far between” even in the most enlightened lands.

Brief Notice

Col. Kyu Yung Cho reports to the War Office that a company of Seoul soldiers went ot Chuk San upon hearing that insurgents were at work there.  They found that the insurgents had dispersed after burning the town.  The same Officer reports that a squad of soldiers encountered a band of rebels in Chung In and a sharp encounter ensued.  The latter lost several men and some fo the villagers being mixed in with them were also killed.  The soldiers chased them to Whang Kan killing twenty-two more.

The people of six districts in Kyung Sung district sent a petition to the War Office asking for a military post in that province.  They are adjacent either to Russia or China and desire to have troops there to check marauding expeditions from the other side of the border.

A drunken policeman was promptly discharged the other day.  It is a good example for the other Departments to follow.

Capt. Kim Myung Whan  has been fighting the rebels in the eastern provinces for some months and has had some brilliant success.  The people praise him highly for the correct behavior of his soldiers toward them.  It is rumored that the War Office intends to recall him but the people of Kang Won province fear that as soon as he is recalled the insurgents will rise again.

Kim Kong No of Sung In in Kyung Song province ran away from his home five years ago leaving a widowed mother and young wife behind.  For four years the two women have been travelling all over the country in search of the lost one and are now stopping in Kong Ju on account of fatique and exhaustion.

The police arrested and gave fifty blows to Chung Pak San who under the influence of liquor molested school children in Kyo Dong by throwing stones at them and using bad language.

By special edict Min Yong Chung and Mn Heung Sik have been released from their banishment in Kang Wha.  Both were banished for ten years last February.

Police Oficer Pak Ki Yang was killed while on duty in Na Ju during the disturbance by the insurgents.  His remains were brought to Seoul a few days ago and buried outside the South Gate.  A squad of policemen went to the grave yesterday and offered sacrifice and one of the Police Officers deleivered a eulogy on the dead fellow.

It is reported that Prince Pak Yung Hio who has been exiled for some time in America started from San Francisco for Yokohama on May 4th. <Pak, backed by the Japanese Minster to Korea, was the leader of the Gapsin Coup of 1884.  It was a three-day long coup that attempted to overthrow the government to implement pro-Japanese reforms.  Queen Min successfully blocked the movement by secretly enlisting help from the Chinese  garrison stationed in Seoul.  During the battle, the Japanese Legation was burned to the ground and the Japanese Minister escorted and exiled from Korea. Although the coup was stopped, Korea was pressured by Japan to pay 110,000 Yen as an apology–tom>

Hon. John Barret, Minister Resident and Consul General of the US to Siam is visting the various countries in the East.  He left Bangkok May 1st and, after visting Hong Kong, Shanghai and Chefoo, arrived in Seoul the day before yesterday.  He is a guest at the US Legation.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College in the class of ‘89. He is probably one of the youngest Resident Ministers in the world.  He has made some interesting statements about Siam which we shall insert in our next issue.

Im Kong Ni of Ma Po has ben deceiving the Nai In, or court waiting maids, and other women of wealth and influence by his supposed power with evil spirits and he seized several acres of land belonging to private individuals for the purpose of erecting a temple for the spirit.  The people in Ma Po make complaint.

Choi Sung Yul of Kang Wha lost three rolls of cotton in his boarding place in Chon Dong a few days ago, and reported the case to the Police Dep’t.  A police detective caught the thief on Chong No and recovered the lost goods and is waiting for the owner.

The police stationed outside the South gate noticed on Saturday night a suspicious looking man carryng a load of old clothes on his back.  He was sharply examined and it was found that the goods had been stolen from the house of O Nan Ho of Sang Dong.  The thief is now in jail and the goods have been returned to the owner.

A little straw hut near Mo Wha Kwan contained a dead body whic was entirely unclothed, and there was no food in the hut.  The man had evidently died of fever, or Im Pyeng.  Such cases require careful treatment in the hospital, and we hope the Government will provide a hospital for contagious diseases.

Dr. C.F. Reed of Shanghai arrived in Seoul Saturday.  He intends to settle here to start mission work under the auspices of the Methodist Mission South of America.

Miss Wambold of California arrived from Japan to relieve Miss Doty in the girls school of the Presbyterian Mission.  Miss Doty intends to go home for a vacation.

The Russian Minister and Mrs. Waeber give a garden party this evening in honor of their Imperial Majesties the Czar and Czarina.

The tax on Korean footwear, such as mitori and straw sandals has been abolished since July 1894, but lately the officials have been trying to colect it again and the dealers make a great deal of complaint.

Last Sunday was the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.  The Diplomatic and Consuar Representatives and other joined in offering congratulations and good wishes.

The students of the Royal English School had their new uniforms on yesterday and drilled before His Majesty in the afternoon.  They looked really neat and orderly and they drilled remarkably well. His Majesty was very much pleased with them and thanked Professors Hutchinson and Halifax for their creditable instructions.  The English Sergeant who has been drilling these boys received a handsome gold watch from His Majesty for his service.  There were a number of spectators from different Legations and all seemed pleased with the boys.  We hope this recognition from His Majesty and praises from the others will encourage the students in adopting more progressive ideas.

Latest Telegrams

London May 8.  Several of the United States have nominated Mr.McKinley as Republican candidate for the presidency and there seems a strong likelihood of his being elected.

May 9.  The Board of Directors of the Chartered Company have resolved to defer the acceptance of the resignations of Mssrs. Cecil Rhodes and Beit; but this is only temporarily approved of by certain directors who consider their resignation inevitable and who otherwise would resign themselves.

May 13.  The Chinese Government yielding to pressure on the part of Russia has granted to Russia a concession on the foreshore of Chefoo, in which part of foreshore British subjects have vested interests.  The British Government is inquiring into the matter.

May 14.  Cholera prevails to an alarming extent in Alexandria

Posted in The Independent: 1896 | Comments Off