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ContemporAsian: Focus on Korea @ MoMA

2013 08 05-11  ContemporAsian icon

‘ContemporAsian: Focus on Korea’@ MoMA

Monday, August 5 to Sunday, August 11, 2013

Asian cinema is fast becoming a cinema without borders. Digital filmmaking and international coproductions are rapidly transforming an industry in which the transnational flow of talent and resources, even between the U.S. and Asia, has become the norm. In the monthly exhibition ContemporAsian, MoMA showcases films that get little exposure outside of their home countries or on the international festival circuit, but which engage the various styles, histories, and changes in Asian cinema. Presented in special weeklong engagements, the films in the series include recent independent gems by both new and established filmmakers whose work represent the rapidly transforming visual culture of the region. Not only are audiences given the rare chance to enjoy these undistributed films on the big screen—they also experience the diversity and richness of Asian cinema in all its many forms.

In August, Focus on South Korea, a special multifilm program, celebrates one of the most successful national cinemas on the global film circuit. The selections exemplify a flourishing, idiosyncratic cinema with plenty of international appeal, one in which filmmakers engage in a vivid critical analysis of social realities, explore subject matters rarely encountered in Korean films of the past, and confidently employ a wide variety of stylistic approaches.

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

Monday, August 5 7:00 p.m. National Security  
Tuesday, August 6 4:00 p.m. National Security  
Wednesday, August 7 7:00 p.m. National Security  
Thursday, August 8 4:00 p.m. National Security  
Friday, August 9 4:00 p.m. National Security Filmmaker Present
  7:00 p.m. Azooma Filmmaker Present
Saturday, August 10 1:30 p.m. National Security  
  4:00 p.m. White Night  
  7:30 p.m. Sleepless Night  
Sunday, August 11 2:00 p.m. Sleepless Night  
  5:00 p.m. El Condor Pasa Filmmaker Present

All films in Korean with English subtitles

Azooma (Gongjeongsahoe) 2012 (74 min, T2)

Friday, August 9, 2013 @7:00 p.m. (Filmmaker Present)

Directed by Lee Ji-Seung. With Jang Young-nam, Ma Dong-seok, Hwag Tae-gwang. Frustrated by the apathy and utter incompetence of the police investigating her daughter’s rape and kidnapping, Azooma decides to take matters into her own hands—and mere imprisonment begins to seem an inadequate punishment. This unrelenting, fast-paced thriller unfolds in fragmented flashbacks, as Azooma adopts a policy of rogue justice—and puts her experience as a dental hygienist to sadistically satisfying use. In Korean; English subtitles. 74 min. Followed by Director’s Q & A with audiences.

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National Security (Namyeong-dong 1985) 2012 (106 min, T2)

Monday, August 5, 2013 @7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 @4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @7:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 @4:00 p.m.

Friday, August 9, 2013 @4:00 p.m. (Filmmaker Present)

Saturday, August 10, 2013 @1:30 p.m

Directed by Chung Ji-young, With Park Won-sang, Lee Kyeong-yeong. Director Chung Ji-young is always keen on political injustice, and he uses the camera lense as a method of conveying the hidden truth. This film is based on the memoir written by the late Kim Geun-tae, a famous politician and the former Minister of Health and Welfare in Korea. He was a young leader of the pro-democracy movement during the military regime of the 80’s. Kim was captured, imprisoned, and tortured for 22 days at a specially designed facility located at Namyoung-dong on September 1985. This film mainly focuses on the torture itself, so most of the scenes have realistic torture description. It makes us realize how torture can easily destroy a human being physically and emotionally. Moreover, the film questions about the possibility of forgiveness. 2012, 106 min. Followed by Director’s Q & A with audiences.

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El Condor Pasa (Kon-dol-eun Nal-a-gan-da) 2012 (101 min, T2)

Sunday, August 11, 2013 @5:00 p.m. (Filmmaker Present)

Directed by Jeon Soo-il. With Cho Jae-hyun, Bae Jeon-hua. “Who listens to confessions of priests and forgives them?” whispers Soo-hyeun to Father Park after learning about the “special” relationship he had with her recently murdered and molested younger sister. Veteran director Jeon’s eighth feature, a psychologically complex examination of guilt and forgiveness that extends far beyond the parameters of penance, renders the suffering of its main characters through beautifully austere images and a whitewashed color scheme reminiscent of the films of Michael Haneke. In Korean, English subtitles. 100 min.

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White Night (Baek-ya) 2012 (75 min, T2)

Saturday, August 10, 2013 @4:00 p.m.

Directed by Lee Song-he-il. With Won Tae-hee; Lee I-Kyeong. After living abroad for two years, flight attendant Won-gyu returns to Seoul on a one-night layover seeking not just companionship, but revenge on the thugs who perpetrated a hate crime against him before he left the city. What begins as a simple sexual encounter with a young motorcycle courier evolves into a complex relationship, as the young men become lovers, friends, enemies, and strangers, all in the course of a single evening. Refusing both romanticism and neat closure, Lee opts for a subtle but frank approach and a minimalist aesthetic—managing to say a lot with very few words. In Korean; English subtitles. 75 min.

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Sleepless Night (Jammotdeuneun Bam) 2012 (65 min, T2)

Saturday, August 10, 2013 @7:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 11, 2013 @2:00 p.m.

Directed by Jang Kun-jae. A languorous chronicle of the daily—and nightly—routines of a thirty-something couple comfortably settled in their second year of marriage, Sleepless Night paints a refreshingly naturalistic portrait of intimacy. Dutifully working menial jobs during the day, the couple spends their evenings eating, talking, cooking, sleeping, arguing, and making love, all the while contemplating the pros and cons of procreation. Like any meaningful relationship, the film’s quiet power lies in the cumulative effect of the quotidian. Fittingly shot with an unobtrusive and unadorned lens, the film evokes plenty of sentiment without ever getting sentimental. Winner of the Grand Prize and Audience Award at the 2012 Joenju International Film Festival. In Korean; English subtitles. 65 min.


Monday, August 5 through Sunday, August 11, 2013

MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art)
11 West 53 Street, New York 10019
By Subway
E, M to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue or B, D, F to 47-50 Street Rockefeller Center.

(212) 708-9400


All tickets through MoMA with TKS membership card.

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