Archive: Winter 2005
Special Guest: Director Im Kwon-Taek to appear.
Co-sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center,
Los Angeles and Harvard Film Archive
Sopyonje is probably the most important film Im Kwon-Taek has directed in a career that spans 5 decades. This beautiful film chronicles the lives of three itinerant musicians devoted to the aesthetics of p’ansori, a dying folk music tradition in Korea. The thatched roofs, barren landscapes, and traditional plain white clothes that have typically underscored and enfranchised Im Kwon-Taek’s cinematic imagination are all there in this marvellously photographed masterpiece. The film, ostensibly made for an arthouse audience, unexpectedly became one of the biggest box-office films in Korean film history, grossing over a million tickets sold, jump-starting the moribund industry at the time. As an Orange County premiere, the Film and Video Center and the Center for Asian Studies co-present this invaluable classic that is yet unavailable on DVD or video.
Im Kwon-Taek is undoubtedly the most decorated filmmaker to have emerged out of Korea. His filmography features no less than 99 titles and he is considered one of the most important directors working in the world today. He won the director’s prize at Cannes Film Festival in 2002 (shared with P.T. Anderson) and his films have won prizes at many prestigious international film festivals including Venice and Berlin.
1993, South Korea • 112 minutes • 35mm • in Korean with English subtitles • Directed by Im Kwon-Taek