Pop Redemption

JIMFF 2013: Opening Ceremony and Pop Redemption Screening

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

On a gloriously sunny 14th of August, the 9th Jechon International Music and Film Festival (JIMFF) got underway at the stunning riverside stage venue.

Beginning with a red carpet event that saw stars such as Moon So-ri and Yu Ji-tae arrive in style, the ceremony officially opened with T-ara’s Ham Eun-jeong and actor Joo Ji-hoon performing ‘Falling Slowly’ from Irish musical film Once.

As programmers and politicians congratulated Jechon for hosting the extravaganza, it was musical director Lee Dong-jun’s night as he became the latest recipient of the Jecheon Film Music Honorary Award. To celebrate his success, Lee Dong-jun – often referred to as the Korean Hans Zimmer – performed music from a selection of his hit films alongside an orchestra, and the result was superb. As scores from The Gingko Bed (은행나무 침대), Save the Green Planet! (지구를 지켜라!)Taegukgi (태극기 휘날리며)TV drama Iris (아이리스), My Way (마이 웨이) and this year’s hit Miracle in Cell No.7 (7번방의 선물) were played, the audience were continually stunned by the spectacle, which was certainly one of the best festival openings in recent memory.

Once the celebrations came to an end, the lights dimmed in preparation for opening film Pop Redemption by director Martin Le Gall. The French film is far from perfect but was a great choice to open the festival, featuring passionate musicians, entertaining comedy and several homages to The Beatles.

Pop Redemption

Pop Redemption

Pop Redemption – ★★★☆☆

French film Pop Redemption is a highly enjoyable film, depicting four black metal rockers who begin to question their dedication to the band as they enter their thirties. Just as the members discuss splitting up for good, lead singer Alex lands them one final dream gig – rock festival Hellfest. Yet on their way the group encounter some difficult rednecks, and their course deviates wildly from the original plan. Pop Redemption is a fun film that explores the nature of friendship and getting older, through both music and road movie conventions. The conflicts that occur are often genuinely funny, while witnessing the rockers change and develop is very entertaining. Similarly the various homages to The Beatles are great to see. However such jokes go on for far too long, stalling for time while needless subplots involving bumbling police officers reach their conclusion. That said, the finale is a fitting – albeit cliched – tribute to rock music, and the feel-good factor certainly hits the spot. Please see below for the trailer.

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Festival News Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) Korean Festivals 2013
The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

JIMFF 2013: Jecheon Film Music Honorary Award

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

One of the most prestigious prizes at the Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) is the Jecheon Film Music Honorary Award. The honour is bestowed upon those individuals who have made incredible contributions in film music, and are immortalised with a hand-printing and copper-plate ceremony, which serve as a reminder for festival-goers of the achievements of those within the industry.

For the 2013 festival, the award is to be given to Lee Dong-jun (이동준). The musical director has been responsible for scoring a staggering array of hit Korean films including The Gingko Bed (은행나무 침대), Green Fish (초록물고기), Shiri (쉬리), Punch Lady (펀치 레이디), TV drama Iris (아이리스), and My Way (마이 웨이), among many many others. In celebration of his achievements JIMFF will screen three films from his illustrious career – Taegukgi (태극기 휘날리며), Save the Green Planet! (지구를 지켜라!), and this years smash hit Miracle in Cell No.7 (7번방의 선물).

Unfortunately for English speaking audiences, only Taegukgi will be screened with English subtitles.

Please see below for a profile of each of Lee Dong-jun’s films to be screened at JIMFF 2013.

Miracle in Cell No.7 (7번방의 선물)

Miracle in Cell No.7 (7번방의 선물)

Miracle in Cell No.7 (7번방의 선물) by director Lee Hwan-gyeong (이환경) was a huge box office hit when it was released early in 2013, attaining over 12 admissions during its theatrical run. The prison melodrama tells the story of mentally ill Yong-gu (Ryoo Seung-ryong (류승룡) who is falsely charged with a crime and sent to prison, leaving his young daughter Ye-sung alone. His one wish is to be with her again, and together with the other members within the prison cell, they work to make the miracle happen. Miracle in Cell No.7 was such a success that it propelled stars Ryoo Seung-ryong and Park Sin-hye (박신혜) into the A-list realm. Please see below for the trailer.

Save the Green Planet! (지구를 지켜라!)

Save the Green Planet! (지구를 지켜라!)

Save the Green Planet! (지구를 지켜라!) is a brilliantly fun cult hit, that is both wonderfully whacky as well as a keen cultural examination. Director Jang Joon-hwan’s (장준환) film depicts the life of Lee Byeong-gu (Shin Ha-kyun (신하균) who has become obsessed with the notion that aliens from Andromeda are plotting to destroy the Earth. His next target is the CEO of a large chemical conglomerate, Kang Man-shik (Baek Yoon-sik (백윤식). But as he begins torturing the corrupt CEO for answers, is Byeong-gu really insane, or has he genuinely uncovered a sinister scheme? Please see below for the trailer.

Taegukgi (태극기 휘날리며)

Taegukgi (태극기 휘날리며)

Taegukgi (태극기 휘날리며) is a simply phenomenal war film. Director Kang Je Gyu (강제규) has crafted a powerful representation of events within the Korean war with stunning cinematography and an all-star cast. The film tells the story of two brothers, Jin Tae (Jang Dong Gun, 장동건) and Jin Seok (Won Bin, 원빈) who live a modest existence in central Seoul, 1950. Drafted into the military service, the brothers take two very different courses in life yet strive to be together and survive the war. Please see below for the trailer.

To visit the official JIMFF page about the award, please click here.

Festival News Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) Korean Festivals 2013
The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

JIMFF 2013: Korean Music Film Now

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

With the 9th Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) just around the corner (August 14th-19th) a number of special film programs have been lined up for film fans. In addition to the international competition entitled ‘World Music Film Today’, other categories include ‘Cine Symphony,’ ‘Music in Sight,’ ‘Theme and Variations,’ Family Fest,’ a ‘Special Retrospective for Peter Chan,’ and ‘Cinema Concert.’

However for Korean film fans the ‘Korean Music Film Now’ program will undoubtedly be the most exciting. Separated into three areas – features, shorts 1 and shorts 2 – the category is a showcase for the best in contemporary film involving music. There are a range of genres from fiction to experimental to documentary, all examining the nature and relationship of Korean culture with music.

Each film in the program has been profiled below, many accompanied with a trailer, in order to see the selection on offer.

Korean Music Film Now – Features

Born to Sing (전국노래자랑)

Born to Sing (전국노래자랑)

Born to Sing (전국노래자랑)

Director: Lee Jong-pil (이종필)

Synopsis: The drama depicts aspiring singer Bong-nam who dreams of becoming famous, while his long-suffering wife supports them through her hair salon. When a nationwide competition is launched he believes this is his big chance.

Moon Glow (문글로우)

Moon Glow (문글로우)

Moon Glow (문글로우)

Director: Chang Hae-rang (장해랑)

Synopsis: This documentary follows Korea’s first generation of jazz players as they enter their 80s. Yet they are still young at heart, and recount all the trails they have overcome as they prepare for a performance.

Neighborhood Orchestra (우리동네오케스트라)

Neighborhood Orchestra (우리동네오케스트라)

Neighborhood Orchestra (우리동네오케스트라)

Director: Ham Dong-kuk (함동국)

Synopsis: The passion of a music teacher and his students are the subject of this documentary, as they rise from amateurs to playing with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rockin' on Heaven's Door (뜨거운 안녕)

Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door (뜨거운 안녕)

Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door (뜨거운 안녕)

Director: Danny Nam (남택수)

Synopsis: The drama depicts a spoilt Kpop star whose bad behaviour lands him in community service at a hospital. When the institution faces financial difficulty, the star joins the band to help.

Korean Music Film Now – Shorts 1

Freedom of the Wind (바람의 자유)

Freedom of the Wind (바람의 자유)

Freedom of the Wind (바람의 자유)

Director: Woo Seong-ha (우성하)

Synopsis: Exploring the life of a 50 year old singer-songwriter, this 27 minute documentary explores his attempts to be free like the wind through his music. Please see below for the trailer.

The Jazz Quartet (더 재즈 쿼텟)

The Jazz Quartet (더 재즈 쿼텟)

The Jazz Quartet (더 재즈 쿼텟)

Director: Yoo Dae-eol (유대얼)

Synopsis: The Jazz Quartet portrays the lives of four musicians who, due to their ‘sloppy’ musical skill, wait on tables in order to make ends meet. However interesting things begin happening after their 5th anniversary.

The Journey

The Journey

The Journey

Director: Lim Wang-tae (임왕태)

Synopsis: Little is known about this 10 minute experimental film by director Lim Wang-tae, except that it follows a group of people walking through a forest, then on a road, towards the ocean.

Korean Music Film Now – Shorts 2

Circus: Watch My Show (서커스: 워치마이쇼)

Circus: Watch My Show (서커스: 워치마이쇼)

Circus: Watch My Show (서커스: 워치마이쇼)

Director: Yang Hyo-joo (양효주)

Synopsis: Another experimental offering, the film using dancing to explore the themes and connotations derived from the circus. Please see below for the trailer.

Ogu-gut for Mr. Heo (허창열씨 오구굿)

Ogu-gut for Mr. Heo (허창열씨 오구굿)

Ogu-gut for Mr. Heo (허창열씨 오구굿)

Director: Kang Ji-won (강지원)

Synopsis: The ogu-gut shamantic ritual is explored through this documentary, capturing traditional Korean cultural forms involving the after-life.

Who Made It? (누가 만들었을까?)

Who Made It? (누가 만들었을까?)

Who Made It? (누가 만들었을까?)

Director: Ji Tae-kyoung (지태경)

Synopsis: The nature of creation is explored in this documentary about Jeju Island, as a band captures the natural sounds from the land to reflect its beauty. Is music therefore divine?

For more detail please visit the official JIMFF website here.

Festival News Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) Korean Festivals 2013
The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

JIMFF 2013: The Jechon International Music and Film Festival

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제)

The Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) is gearing up for its 9th installment, commencing on Wednesday the 14th of August and running through until Monday the 19th.

The city is famous for the picturesque Cheongpung Lake, which will host an outdoor theater as well as live musical performances on its shores.

Opening the festival at the Lakeside Stage will be French drama Pop Redemption by director Martin Le Gall. The film depicts the lives of four childhood friends who for the last eighteen years have been a part of metal band Dead Macabes. However as they approach their thirties life begins pulling them in different directions and their interest begins to wane. As a last ditch effort to save the band, member Alex signs them up for metal event ‘Hellfest’ but fate seems to transpire against them. Please see below for the trailer:

World Music Film Today

The international competition at JIMFF 2013 is entitled ‘World Music Film Today’ which features nine films from around the globe. The jury will consist of Korean director Lee Hwan-gyeong (이환경) (Miracle in Cell No.7), director/actress  Koo Hye-seon (구혜선) (The Peach Tree), president of Zip Cinema Lee Yoo-jin, Japanese company Amuse Group chairman Yokichi Osato, and Polish festival director Krzysztof Gierat. (Source: The Chosun Ilbo)

Black Gospel (블랙가스펠)

Black Gospel (블랙가스펠)

Within the competition there is one Korean film, documentary Black Gospel (블랙가스펠) directed by hisMT Ministry (히즈엠티 선교회). The film follows the members of Korea’s only gospel choir as they travel to Harlem, New York to study music.  But they quickly learn that they will have to raise their singing prowess to a whole new level if they want to compete at the gospel concert.

Please see below for the trailer.

For more information, please head on over to the official JIMFF website here.

Festival News Jechon International Music and Film Festival (제천국제음악영화제) Korean Festivals 2013