Interviews

E J-yong (director)
by Darcy Paquet
E J-yong
"Filmmakers from the 80s and 90s, like Park Kwang-su, Jang Sun-woo and Jung Ji-young, carry a great burden on their shoulders, in terms of history and politics... They can't free themselves from the weight of their generation's social issues. But directors in my generation feel free of such pressures."



Kang Su-youn (actress)
by Adrien Gombeaud
Kang Su-youn
"In Aje, Aje Para Aje, for example, my character is raped and then marries the man who raped her. Of course from a feminist point of view, it's kind of shocking, but it's a Buddhist film that you must view from a religious perspective. It's a film about the Buddhist concept of the 'small vehicle'..."



Jang Sun-woo (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Jang Sun-woo
"In Korea there are a lot of traditionally oriented ways of thinking, which means that there are lots of prejudices. These things might provoke painful situations for some people. I want to ask people whether they really think that such things are right, or whether instead we should try to change them..."



Kim Eung-su (director)
by Kyu Hyun  Kim
Kim Eung-su
"'Love' is presented in many movies as something romantic, pure and idealistic, abiding by the rules supposedly transmitted from our parents' generation. But in reality, love can be confusing and 'dirty,' because it is inevitably a product of our own selfish desires. ..."



Whang Cheol-min (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Whang Cheol-min
"I believe that the arts bring out kindness in people. At the outset, the relationship between the policeman and the student is characterized by hostility, but by rehearsing Crime and Punishment, something changes and a kind of spiritual connection starts to bridge them..."



Byun Young-joo (director)
by Adam Hartzell
Byun Young-joo
"[This] is part of the complicated situation in South Korea today that Byun wanted to show, how the traditional and Western exist at the same time. To make this world a better place, she feels it is necessary to break from traditional beliefs, because things have gotten stuck..."



Yoon Jong-bin (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Yoon Jong-bin
"When you start your military service, you are on the lowest level of the hierarchy. Many people think when they become senior officers they will not behave as their superiors did, but eventually the system leads us all to behave in the same way..."



Cha Ye-ryun (actress) and
Lee Choon-yun (producer)

by Kyu Hyun  Kim
Cha Ye-ryun & Lee Choon-yun
"I do find the Whispering Corridors films to be far more realistic than so-called 'realistic' movies about high school life, and the cast members contributed to making the characters realistic by drawing upon their own experiences..."



Kim Jee-woon (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Kim Jee-woon
"It often happens in life that big tragedies originate in something really small. Most people tend to look for explanations only in bigger, visible events, while overlooking smaller, apparently insignificant happenings..."



Bong Joon-ho (director)
by Giuseppe Sedia
Bong Joon-ho
"The concept of chaos has always fascinated me from a philosophical perspective. Moreover I would mention also a peculiar form of chaos reflecting the social and cultural context in South Korea...."



Shin Sang-okk (director)
by Adrien Gombeaud
Yonsan gun
"When I was just a kid I saw many films. Even films that I was not supposed to see at that age! Movies by Chaplin and Eisenstein of course. But I also had the opportunity to see many Korean films, films that were destroyed during the war. I think there were only a few artistic directors at that time. I was very moved by Na Un-gyu's Arirang..."



Kim In-sik (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Kim In-sik
"Road Movie opens with a frank sex scene in order to reflect in the very beginning how straight people usually see or imagine gay sex. This is sort of a strategy meant to subsequently start the process of discovering the real nature of gay people, voided of prejudices and stereotypes..."



Yun Jae-yeon (director)
by Kyu Hyun  Kim
Yun Jae-yeon
"It is true that women filmmakers are inevitably involved in the big social changes in South Korea... I still think, though, the most important issue is diversity. I think true empowerment comes when we recognize that we have multiple voices, and try not to pigeonhole one another..."



Mo Ji-eun (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Mo Ji-eun
"In Korea we have a proverb that a seven year-old boy and a seven year-old girl must not sit side by side. This segregationist attitude is considered recommendable for any age, so a sort of taboo against the gathering of gender-mixed groups of friends still persists...."



Park Chul-soo (director)
by Adam Hartzell
Park Chul-soo
"Park sees [Festival and Farewell My Darling] as very different. Im focused on the aesthetics of death, the beauty in the traditions surrounding it, while Park focused on what death has to tell us about everyday life itself. The similarity between the films was that they both tanked at the box office..."



Im Sang-soo (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Im Sang-soo
"Those people, during the Japanese occupation used to be army generals in charge of capturing Koreans in the resistence movement. After independence, they became President and Director of the KCIA, and I think this is the biggest tragedy in contemporary Korean history..."



Kim Ji-seok (programmer)
by Davide Cazzaro and Darcy Paquet
Kim Ji-seok
"The best models for PIFF were Rotterdam, Vancouver and Hong Kong. From the beginning we needed our own identity, so our first two decisions were to make PIFF non-competitive, and to focus on Asian films. Then we studied non-competitive festivals like the ones I mentioned..."



Cho Chang-ho (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Cho Chang-ho
"I actually think that the relationship between today's Korean society and my film are completely irrelevant. What really mattered to me, and I strived to find a balance in this, was to talk in my film about the essence of relationships..."



Lee Jang-ho (director)
by Paolo Bertolin
Lee Jang-ho
"When I made Declaration of Fools, I'd made up my mind to leave the industry after its completion. At the film's opening, a film director commits suicide; to me, such an image meant that the director was not taking any responsibility whatsoever, even for the film itself..."



Kim Tae-yong (director)
by Darcy Paquet
Kim Tae-yong
"I had a lot more fun when I was shooting Family Ties. I felt much more comfortable. With Memento Mori, I wanted so much to make an outstanding film, it was like having a knife stuck in my chest..."



If you would like to contribute an interview
to this section, email me at darcy@koreanfilm.org



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Koreanfilm.org, last updated February 14, 2008.