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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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?)
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.