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Korean Screen Cultures

Interrogating Cinema, TV, Music and Online Games

Andrew David Jackson and Colette Balmain

The «Korean Wave», or Hallyu phenomenon, has brought South Korean popular culture to the global population. Studies on Korean visual culture have therefore often focused on this aspect, leaving North Korea sidelined and often considered in a negative light because of its political regime. Korean Screen Cultures sets out to redress this imbalance with a broad selection of essays spanning both North and South as well as different methodological approaches, from ethnographic and audience studies to cultural materialist readings. The first section of the book, «The South», highlights popular media – including online gaming and television drama – and concentrates on the margins, in which the very nature of «The South» is contested. «The South and the North» examines North Korea as an ideological other in South Korean popular culture as well as discussing North Korean cinema itself. «The Global» offers new approaches to Korean popular culture beyond national borders and includes work on K-pop and Korean television drama. This book is a vital addition to existing scholarship on Korean popular culture, offering a unique view by providing an imaginary unification of the two Koreas negotiated through local and transnational popular culture flows.
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Chi-Yun Shin - 4 Locating Cosmopolitanism in the Films of E J-Yong


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4 Locating Cosmopolitanism in the Films of E J-Yong


South Korean (hereafter Korean) film director E J-yong (aka Lee Je-yong)’s filmography has been described as ‘curious’ by some commentators. This mainly stems from the fact that his films vary widely in terms of genre, sources and subject matter. A rundown of his feature films seems to prove that there is no clear thematic or stylistic continuity in E’s films. His 1998 debut feature An Affair (Chŏng-sa) is a quietly subversive melodrama about a married woman who falls in love with her younger sister’s fiancé, while his second film Asako in Ruby Shoes (Sunaebo, 2000) is a slow-paced art-house film that details the lives of a Korean civil servant living in Seoul and a young Japanese woman in Tokyo who turns to performing for a live-cam porno website to fund her trip to Alaska. E’s third and most successful film to date, Untold Scandal (Sŭk’aendal: Chosŏn namnyŏ sangyŏlchisa, 2003), is a historical costume drama based on the French epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos and inspired by Stephen Frears’s 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons, while 2006 film Dasepo Naughty Girls (Dasep’o sonyŏ) is a musical comedy based on a popular web-comic (or Internet comic strip). His next projects – Actresses (Yŏ-pae-u-dŭl, 2009) and Behind the Camera: Why Mr E Went to Hollywood (Dwit-tam-hwa: kamdok-i mich’yŏt-sŏ-yo, 2013) – are...

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