Films: Seopyeonje

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  • Sunday, November 06, 2:30 PM
    Starz FilmCenter

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Seopyeonje

Seopyeonje

South Korea, 1993, 112 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Classic, Korean, Music
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, Focus on a National Cinema: South Korea
Language: Korean English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Im Kwon-taek
Producer: Lee Tae-won
Editor: Park Sun-duk
Screenwriter: Kim Myung-gon
Cinematographer: Jung Il-sung
Principal Cast: Kim Myung-gon , Oh Jung-hae , Kim Kyu-chul

In Korea, the pansori is a singer of stories. To Western ears, the sound of the pansori is bizarre, unexpected, and ultimately thrilling. It is said that the stress on these singers’ vocal chords is so harsh that they are sometimes left bleeding after a performance. Meanwhile, Seopyeonje tells a tale so convoluted and full of longing, attraction, and rejection that it could itself be a pansori performance.

As three pansori walk together, a series of flashbacks reveal the complications of their lives. One of the many fascinating contradictions in the film is that this highly stylized and structured musical genre is performed on rural pathways and in poor villages.

Revivals of the pansori tradition have a political dimension, because many of its practitioners were involved with large pro-democracy demonstrations in South Korea in the 1980s. Director Im Kwon-taek was much affected by those struggles. Until he witnessed the political upheaval, he was a director of light commercial entertainments, but when he saw the commitment of the protestors, he realized that, in his own way, he too should commit himself to more serious work.

This film will be introduced by Howie Movshovitz of the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Arts & Media.
—HOWIE MOVSHOVITZ

Sponsored by Asian Art Coordinating Council, Denver Chapter of the National Unification Advisory Council

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