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East Asian cinema

Korean cinema encompasses the motion picture industries of North Korea and South Korea. As with all aspects of Korean life during the past century, the film industry has often been at the mercy of political events, from Japanese occupation to the Korean War to domestic governmental interference. While both countries have relatively robust film industries today, only South Korean films have achieved wide international acclaim. North Korean films tend to portray communist or revolutionary themes.

South Korean films enjoyed a "Golden age" during the late 1950s, and 1960s, but by the 1970s had become generally considered to be of low quality. A slow rebirth of the domestic film industry led to South Korea, by 2005, to become one of few nations to watch more domestic than imported films in theatres.[1] South Korean films generally differ from Hollywood films by their exploration of domestic social issues and their often unpredictable plotting.


Early period (until 1926)

According to the October 19, 1897 issue of The Times, "Motion pictures have finally been introduced into Joseon, a country located in the Far East. At the beginning of October 1897, motion pictures were screened for the public in Jingogae, Bukcheon, in a shabby barrack that was borrowed from its Chinese owner for three days. The works screened included short films and actuality films produced by France's Pathe Pictures".[2] There are reports of another showing of a film to the public in 1898 near Namdaemun in Seoul.

American traveler and lecturer Burton Holmes was the first to film in Korea as part of his innovative travelogue programs.[3] In addition to displaying his films abroad, he showed them to the Korean royal family in 1899.[4] An announcement in the contemporary newspaper, Hwangseong sinmun, names another early public screening on June 23, 1903. Advertised by the Dongdaemun Electric Company, the price for admission to the viewing of scenic photography was 10 jeon.[2]

Korea's first movie theater, Tongdaemun Motion Picture Studio (Tongdaemun hwaldong sajinso), opened in 1903.[5] The Dansung-sa Theater opened in Seoul in November 1907 and is still in operation today. Before the creation of a domestic film industry, films imported from Europe and the United States were shown in Korean theaters. Some of the imported films of the era most popular with Korean audiences were D. W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms (1919) and Way Down East (1920), Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood (1922), and Fritz Lang's Nibelungen films, Siegfried and Kriemhilds Rache (both 1924).

Not merely a theater-operator, as the first film producer in Korea, Dansung-sa's owner, Park Sung-pil, took an active part in supporting early Korean cinema. He financed the first Korean domestic film, Loyal Revenge (Korean: 의리적 구토; Uirijeok Guto), as well as the first Korean documentary film, Scenes of Kyoungsoung City and showed both at his theater on October 27, 1919. Uirijeok Guto was used as a kino drama, a live theatrical production against the backdrop of film projected on stage.

Still from Chunhyang-Jeon (Hangul: 춘향전) (1923)

For the next few years, film production in Korea consisted of the kino dramas and documentaries. As with the first showing of a film in Korea, the first feature film produced in Korea also appears to be unclear. Some name a filming of Chunhyang-Jeon (Hangul: 춘향전) in 1921 (released in 1922) as the first Korean feature film. The traditional story, Chunhyang, was to become Korea's most-filmed story. It was possibly the first Korean feature film, and was certainly the first Korean sound film, color film and widescreen film. Im Kwon-taek's 2000 pansori version of Chunhyang brought the number of films based on Chunyang to 14.[6] Other sources, however, name Yun Baek-nam's Ulha ui Mengse ("Plighted Love Under the Moon"), released in April, 1923, as the first Korean feature film.[7][8]

The Golden Era of Silent Films (1926-1930)

Korean film studios at this time were Japanese-operated. A hat merchant known as Yodo Orajo established a film company called Choson Kinema Productions. After appearing in the Choson Kinema's 1926 production Nongjungjo (Hangul: 농중조), the young actor, Na Woon-gyu, was given a chance to write, direct and star in his own film. Though a few films of some quality had been produced in the year before its production, the release of Na's film, Arirang (Hangul: 아리랑) (1926) is generally considered the film which started the era of high-quality silent film in china.

Like the folksong "Arirang", on which its title was based, Na Woon-gyu's Arirang did not have an overtly political theme. However hidden or subtle messages could be magnified through the common use of a live narrator at the theater. A newspaper article of 1908 shows that this tradition of "byeonsa" (Hangul: "변사", or "benshi" in Japanese) appeared in Korea almost from the beginning of the showing of film in the country. As in Japan, this became an integral part to the showing of silent films, especially for imported films, where the byeonsa provided an economical and entertaining alternative to translating intertitles. One interesting aspect of the byeonsa tradition in Korea is that, when Japanese authorities were not present, they could inject satire and criticism of the occupation into the film narrative, giving the film a political subtext invisible to government censors.[9] Some of the more popular byeonsa were better-paid than the film actors.[10]

The immense success of Arirang inspired a burst of activity in the Korean film industry in the late 1920s, causing this period to be known as "The Golden Era of Silent Films". More than seventy films were produced at this time, and the quality of film improved as well as the quantity.[11]

Na Un-gyu followed Arirang with popular and critically respected films like Punguna (풍운아) (1926) and Deuljwi (들쥐) (1927). He formed Na Un-gyu Productions with Park Sung-pil for the purpose of producing films by Koreans for Koreans. Though this company was short-lived, it produced important films like Jalitgeola (잘 있거라) (1927), Beongeoli Sam-ryong (벙어리 삼룡) (1929), and Salangeul chajaseo (사랑을 찾아서) (1929).

Another important director of this period was Shim Hun, who directed only one film, Mondongi Tultte (먼동이 틀 때) (At Daybreak). Though the reviews for this film were as strong as those for Arirang, Shim died at the age of 35 while directing his second film, based on his own novel, Sangroksu (상록수) (The Evergreens). The novel was later filmed by director Shin Sang-ok in 1961 and by Im Kwon-taek in 1978.[12]

The later silent era (1930-1935)

The first half of the 1930s saw a dramatic decline in the domestic film industry in Korea. Due largely to censorship and oppression from the occupying authorities, the number of films produced at this time dropped down to only two or three per year, and many leading filmmakers fled Korea for the more robust film industry in Shanghai at this time.

Perhaps the most important film of this era is Imjaeobtneun naleutbae (Ferryboat with no Ferryman) (1932), directed by Lee Gyu-hwan (1904-1981), and starring Na Woon-gyu. Because of increasing governmental censorship, this has been called the last pre-liberation film to present a significant nationalistic message.[13][14]

Early sound era (1935-1945)

Korea's first sound film was Lee Myeong-woo's 1935 Chunhyang-Jeon.[15] The sound technique was reportedly poor, but Korean audiences appreciated hearing their own language in the cinema.

The number of films produced increased during the latter part of the decade. Na Woon-gyu began making a larger number of films again with significant works like Kanggeonneo maeul (1935), and Oh Mong-nyeo (1937), before his premature death in 1937.

Coming as they did during the mid- to late-1930s, sound films in Korea faced much harsher censorship from the occupying forces than did the silent films before them. Also, the loss of the byeonsa narrators with the coming of sound film meant that anti-authority messages could no longer be sneaked around the censors in this way.

The showing of American and European films decreased at this time, and were replaced by Japanese films. Korean-made films became a propaganda tool for the government of the Japanese occupation. Starting in 1938, all film-making in Korea was done by the Japanese, and by 1942 the use of Korean language in film was banned.[16]

Divided Korea ― South Korea

Theatrical poster to Viva Freedom! (1946)

Liberty (1945-1950) and War (1950-1955) eras

With the surrender of Japan in 1945, Korean cinema enjoyed a burst of liberty-- and liberty itself, understandably, became the major theme of films at this time. Choi In-gyu's Viva Freedom! (Hangul: 자유 만세; Jayu manse!), about Korean freedom-fighters during the waning days of the Japanese occupation, is considered the major film of this era.

The rebirth of Korean cinema which seemed to be coming had to wait, however. First the country was divided into North and South, and then civil war was to break out in 1950. Though film production did not completely cease during the war years, only five or six films were produced each year from 1950 to 1953. Much worse for Korea's film legacy, the vast majority of Korea's film history was lost in this devastating war.

Golden Age (1955-1973)

With the armistice of 1953, South Korean president Syngman Rhee made an effort to help rejuvenate the local film industry by making it exempt from taxation. The rebirth that almost occurred after 1945 can be said to have truly begun with director Lee Kyu-hwan's tremendously successful remake of Chunhyang-jon in 1955. Within two months 10% of Seoul's population-- over 200,000 people-- had seen the movie, giving the re-establishment of the film industry further impetus. [1] [2]

1955 also saw the release of Yang san Province (Hangul: 양산도; Yangsan-do) by the renowned director, Kim Ki-young, marking the beginning of a career that would remain productive until his death in 1998.

With Korean cinema for the first time working under something similar to conditions in other countries, both the quality and quantity of film-making had increased rapidly by the end of the 1950s. South Korean films, such as Lee Byeong-il's 1956 comedy Sijib ganeun nal (Hangul: 시집 가는 날; The Wedding Day), had begun winning international awards. In dramatic contrast to the beginning of the 1950s, when only 5 movies were made per year, 111 films were produced in South Korea in 1959.[3], [4]

Korean cinema enjoyed a brief period of unprecedented freedom during the 1960-1961 year interval between the administrations of Rhee and Park Chung Hee. This year saw the production of Kim Ki-young's The Housemaid (Hangul: 하녀; Hanyeo), and Yu Hyun-mok's Aimless Bullet (Hangul: 오발탄; Obaltan), both of which have been listed among the best Korean films ever made.[17]

With the ascension of Park Chung Hee to the presidency in 1962, government control over the film industry increased substantially. Under the Motion Picture Law of 1963, a series of increasingly restrictive measures were placed on the film industry. The number of films produced and imported were limited under a strict quota system. The new regulations dropped the number of domestic film-production companies from 71 to 16 within a year. Government censorship at this time also became very strict, focusing mainly on any hint of pro-communist messages or obscenity.

Despite these repressive governmental policies, however, a consistently large and devoted theater-going audience, and many quality films continued to give South Korea a healthy cinematic culture throughout the 1960s.[18] Also, the Grand Bell Awards were established in 1962. Called Korea's equivalent to the Academy Awards, they are the country's longest-running film award.

"Revitalizing Government" era (1973-1979)

Governmental control over the film industry reached its height in the mid- and late-1970s, nearly destroying the vibrant film culture that had been established in the preceding decade and a half. Many consider this one of the lowest periods in the history of Korean cinema. While there had been governmental censorship in the 1960s, beginning in 1973, Park's "Revitalizing Government" began forcing filmmakers to include actual government ideology in their films.[19] Writing in 1981, the International Film Guide said of South Korean cinema, "No country has a stricter code of film censorship than South Korea-- with the possible exception of the North Koreans and some other Communist bloc countries."[20]

These propaganda-laden movies (or "policy films") proved unpopular with audiences who had become accustomed to seeing real-life social issues in the quality films of the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to dealing with government interference in the making of their films, Korean filmmakers began losing their audience to television-ownership, which grew suddenly beginning in the late 1960s. Movie-theater attendance dropped by about a third, from 173,043,272 in 1969 to 65,518,581 in 1979.[21] Nevertheless, talented filmmakers like Im Kwon-taek and Kim Ki-young were able to survive this era and occasionally even produce works of value.

Recovery (1980-1996)

After a turbulent year from 1979-1980, which included the assassination of president Park Chung Hee, the Coup d'état of December Twelfth, and the Gwangju massacre, South Korea began taking greater steps towards an open democracy. Though theater attendance remained low throughout the 1980s, the government's gradual relaxation of censorship and control over the film industry enabled the production of more adventurous and interesting movies. During this decade, South Korean film began reaching an international audience for the first time, in large part through the recognition of director Im Kwon-taek's work. After his 1981 film, Mandala won the Grand Prix at the Hawaii Film Festival, Im became the first Korean director in years to have his films shown at European film festivals.[22] In 1988, president Roh Tae-woo began the gradual elimination of the government censorship of political expression in films. Directors were quick to begin re-exploring social and political themes in their films.

During this period, however, the audience for domestic films reached a low-point, due in no small part to the opening of the market to films from overseas, especially the United States and Hong Kong. By 1993, only 16% of the films seen by South Korean audiences were made domestically. The local film industry persevered through this lean period, and it was at this time that events were set in place for the impressive success Korean cinema was to enjoy during the next decade. [5], [6]

Breakthrough (1997 through present)

From the late 1990s, South Korean cinema has grown rapidly with many local films attaining box office success exceeding that of Hollywood blockbuster movies. Five South Korean films have had over 10 million spectators each. In fact, South Korea has became one of the few countries where Hollywood productions did not enjoy a dominant share of the domestic market. In February 2006, however, South Korean movie workers staged mass rallies to protest a quota cut resulting from a deal with the United States. Today, according to Kim Hyun, "South Korea’s movie industry, like that of most countries, is grossly overshadowed by Hollywood. The nation exported US$2 million-worth of movies to the United States last year and imported $35.9 million-worth" (source : Yonhap [7]).

The 1999 film Shiri about a North Korean spy preparing a coup in Seoul was the first in Korean history to sell more than 2 million tickets in Seoul alone. This helped Shiri to surpass Hollywood box office hits such as Titanic, The Matrix and Star Wars. The success of Shiri motivated other Korean films with large budgets for Korean circumstances.

In 2000 the film JSA (Joint Security Area) was a huge success and even surpassed the benchmark set by Shiri. One year later, the film Friend managed the same. The romantic comedy My Sassy Girl outsold The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter which ran at the same time. As of 2004, new films continue to outperform older releases, and many Korean productions are more popular than Hollywood films. Films such as Silmido and Taegukgi were watched by over 10 million people per film, which is a quarter of the South Korean population. Silmido is a film based on a true story about a secret task force. The other is a blockbuster movie about the Korean War directed by the director of Shiri.

This success attracted the attention of Hollywood. Films such as Shiri have been distributed in the USA. In 2001, Miramax even bought the rights to an Americanized remake of the successful Korean action comedy movie, My Wife is a Gangster. Recently, popular Korean movies such as Il Mare (remade as The Lake House), Oldboy, My Sassy Girl, and Joint Security Area have also been bought by Hollywood firms for remake as well.

The 2003 psychological horror A Tale of Two Sisters was successful as well, leading Dreamworks to pay $2 million (US) for the rights to a remake, topping the $1 million (US) paid for the Japanese movie The Ring.

Many Korean films reflect how much the Korean people long for reunification and suffer from the division of the peninsula. Many of the films underline feelings, which causes Korean films to be likened to French films. The Korean film industry, however, now produces all genres with widely varying themes.

Festival success

Korean film first garnered serious international recognition in 2002 at the Venice Film Festival, where the film Oasis won the second prize award. The film not only revealed much about traditional Korean culture, but also highlighted the plight of handicapped Koreans and the general public's inability to understand and accept them. In the story an isolated young woman with cerebral palsy falls in love with a simple minded man who has recently completed a term in prison for the hit and run accident that killed her father. Quite possibly Korea's most symbolic and rich film to date, "Oasis" remains the turning point for Korean avante garde film.

Oldboy is the second great victory for Korean film when it came in second place in the Cannes Film Festival, second to Fahrenheit 9/11. The story traces the life of a man who is put into solitary confinement by someone he does not know. He lives there for 15 years until he is released and given 5 days to discover the bizarre reason for his cruel entrapment. Dark and gloomy, Oldboy experiments with the themes of psychological madness and sexual distortions.

In February 2004, Kim Ki Duk won the award for best director at the 54th annual Berlin Film Festival, for a film about a teenage prostitute, Samaritan Girl. In addition, he won the Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival for his 2004 movie, 3-Iron.

New wave films

There are three important dates in new wave Korean films: first in 1992, Marriage Story was financed by Samsung, marking the first non-government funded film. In 1999, Shiri was released and led to Korean films taking over 50% of the local market. Ultimately, My Sassy Girl became the most popular and exportable Korean film in history. Each has brought new strength to the unique creation of a Korean film industry that no longer copies Hollywood verbatim. Supporting the Korean film industry have been strong government controls against copyright infringement and bootlegging, which have allowed the film industry to bring out many films, and make a profit and still have very strong DVD and aftermarket sales. In addition, a government-enforced screen quota system since 1967 has limited the number of days per year non-domestic movies can be shown on any one movie screen in South Korea. Recently, this practice has come under fire from non-Korean film distributors as unfair. Fast low cost films with likeable stars, tied to current events, and at affordable prices that speak in a natural vernacular with state of the art cinematography and music have all pushed films ahead.

New wave Korean films came as a result of competition in the film industry, directors trained outside of the USA (in France, Spain, the Netherlands, China and other European nations), and new models of scripts that included more Korean situations, and spoke in contemporary vernacular, and used younger actors, younger scriptwriters, and less formulaic Hollywood clichés or 90 minute frames. The impact of the Busan Film Festival and Jeonju Film Festival in screening year after year hundreds of new European, Canadian, South American, Chinese and even Japanese films rewrote the basic templates towards originality.

Divided Korea ― North Korea

Because of the isolated nature of the country, information-- particularly unbiased information-- on North Korean cinema is difficult to find. Outsider appraisal of North Korean cinema is often condescending, but of dubious worth given the difficult relationship the country has with the rest of the world, and the lack of access outsiders have to the country and its films. Statements from official North Korean sources, on the other hand, include extravagant claims like, "In recent years our film art has created an unprecedented sensation in the world's filmdom... The revolutionary people of the world are unstinting in their praise of this feature film and other monumental works, calling them 'the first-class films by international standards', 'the most wonderful movies ever produced' and 'immortal revolutionary and popular films'."[23]

The number of films produced in North Korea is difficult to determine. In 1992, Asiaweek reported that the country produced about 80 films annually,[24] and a BBC report in 2001 indicated that North Korea was then producing about 60 films a year.[25] In spite of these claims, Johannes Schönherr, an attendee of the 2000 Pyongyang Film Festival of Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries, found little evidence for actual films or titles. He notes that the country offered only one domestic feature and one documentary at their most high-profile film festival, and suggests that the high number of reported films includes short films and cartoons, and short installments of long-running series. He also cites a 1998 North Korean pamphlet containing a list of films which had been made in the country up to 1998. This gives a total of 259 titles, and indicates that the 1980s were the most prolific decade with about 15 to 20 films made yearly.[26]

North Korea's principal producer of feature films is the Korean Film Studio, a state-run studio of about 10 million square feet (930,000 m²) founded in 1947 and located outside of Pyongyang. Other North Korean film studios include the Korean Documentary Film Studio (founded in 1946), the April 25 Film Studio of the Korean People's Army (founded in 1959 and previously known as the February 8 Cinema Studio) and the Korean Science and Educational Film Studio (founded in 1953 and also known as the April 26 Children's Film Production House, and Science Educational Korea, or SEK.)[27] These studios produce feature films, documentaries, animated films, children's films and science films. According to a report from 1992, the Korean Feature Film Studio produced about forty films per year, while the other studios together accounted for another forty.[24]

In addition to animation for the North Korean domestic market, SEK has become a resource for international animation, including some well-known American animated films. Production costs in North Korea are very low, and the quality of animators is well perceived. Disney's The Lion King (1994) and Pocahontas (1995) are two films which were worked on by SEK. Presumably work on these films was subcontracted, rather than sourced by Disney directly, to avoid violating the Trading with the Enemy Act. [8] Empress Chung is a 2005 animated feature film which was a co-production between the North and South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Il-sung believed in the message of the saying attributed (probably falsely) to Lenin: "Cinema is the most important of all arts."[27] Accordingly, since the country's division, North Korean films have often been used as vehicles for instilling government ideology into the people. A common theme is martyrdom for the nation. The film Fate of a Self-defence Corps Member, based on a novel written by Kim Il-sung during the fight against the Japanese occupation reflects this theme, as does the highly-regarded film, Sea of Blood (Korean: 피바다; Pibada) (1969). [9] The latter film comes from a novel telling the story of a woman farmer who becomes a national heroine by fighting the Japanese.

Another favorite theme is the happiness of the current society. This theme can be seen reflected in titles of feature films like A Family of Workers, A Flowering Village, Rolling Mill Workers, When Apples Are Picked and Girls at a Port. All of these films were awarded the People's Prize before 1974.

1940s and 1950s

IMDB lists only 41 films produced in North Korea.[10] Two of these were released in the years between the liberation from Japan and the outbreak of the Korean War, Our Construction (Uri Geonseol) (1946) and My Homeland (Korean: 내 고향; Nae gohyang) (1949). Five were released during the war, including Righteous War (1950), Boy Partisans (1951) and Again to the Front (1952). These titles suggest that film was used for ideological purposes from the beginning of North Korea's existence as a separate entity.

Judging from the IMDB's entries, the 1950s were a relatively productive time for North Korean cinema. 10 of the 41 films listed for the country were produced during this decade. Post war titles seem to reflect a toning down in the militaristic themes, and a turning to more optimistic stories. Titles like The Road of Happiness (1956) and Love the Future (1959) indicate that films were being used to rally the country into rebuilding after the devastation of the war.

1960s and 1970s

IMDB lists only two films for North Korea for the entire decade of the 1960s: A Spinner (1964) and Boidchi annun dchonson (1965). One of the most highly-regarded films in North Korea, Sea of Blood, was produced in 1969. The entrance hall to the Korean Feature Film Studio contains a mural of current "Dear Leader", Kim Jong-il supervising the production of this film. This is a two-part, black and white film. The first part is 125 minutes in duration, and the second is 126 minutes.

Kim Il-sung made a famous call for juche art in 1966, saying, "Our art should develop in a revolutionary way, reflecting the Socialist content with the national form".[28] In a 1973 treatise on film entitled Theory of Cinematic Art, Kim Jong-il further developed this idea of juche art into the cinema, claiming that it is cinema's duty to help develop the people into "true communists", and as a means "to completely eradicate capitalist elements". [11] The ideology-heavy nature of North Korean cinema during the 1970s can be seen in titles such as The People Sing of the Fatherly Leader and The Rays of Juche Spread All Over the World.

Part of this ideological usage of the arts was a treating of the same subjects repeatedly through various art forms. Consequently, the most prominent films of the era took their stories and titles from pre-existing novels, ballets or operas. The film Sea of Blood was also an opera and a symphony, as well as the name of an opera company. Future Minister of Culture, Choe Ik-kyu's The Flower Girl (Korean: 꽃 파는 처녀; Kkotpaneun Cheonyeo) (1972, 130 min.) [12] later was remade as a dance. This film won a special prize and special medal at the 18th International Film Festival, and is one of the more well-known North Korean films of the 1970s.

Unsung Heroes, a 20-part spy film about the Korean War, was released between 1978 and 1981; it achieved notice outside of North Korea two decades later mainly because United States Forces Korea defector Charles Robert Jenkins played a role as a villain and the husband of one of the main characters.[29]

1980 - Present

With 14 listings, the 1980s is the best-represented decade for North Korea at IMDB. A possible turning to less didactic subjects is indicated with a 1986 production of the popular stories like Chunhyang-jon (1980 - 155 min.) and Hong kil dong (Hangul: 홍길동) (1986 - 115 min.). [13]Probably the most well-known North Korean film internationally is the science-fiction giant-monster epic, Pulgasari (Hangul: 불가사리) (1985), directed by kidnapped South-Korean director Shin Sang-ok. Multi-part films promoting the Juche ideology, including Star of Korea and The Sun of the Nation were also produced in the 1980s. North Korean animation produced for domestic consumption is reportedly less politically dogmatic during this period, resulting in a large adult audience.[14] At least one international co-production have been filmed in North Korea, Ten Zan - Ultimate Mission, directed by Italian director Ferdinando Baldi and starring American Frank Zagarino.

IMDB lists only four North Korean films made in the 1990s. The Nation and Destiny (Korean: 민족과 운명; Minjokgwa ummyeong) is a 56-part series of movies produced from 1992-1999, on Korean subjects and people like General Choi Duk Shin (parts 1-4) and composer Yun I-sang (parts 5, 14-16). [15]

The 2000s appear to be reasonably productive for North Korean cinema, having five listings so far. In a sign of thawing relations, the animated film, Empress Chung (2005), is a co-production of South and North Korea. This film is said to be the first released simultaneously in both countries. Another recent North/South co-production is the 3-D animated television series Lazy Cat Dinga.

Taegukgi(Hangul: 태극기 휘날리며) (2004)

The Journal of a Schoolgirl is the first film from the state to be sold to a Western distributor (the French company Pretty Pictures) in several.[16]

All-time box office records

The numbers indicate amount of tickets sold, not financial gross (as of May 2009). Data from Korean Film Council, Film 2.0.

Rank English title Korean title Director Admissions Year
1 The Host 괴물 Bong Joon-ho 13,019,740 2006
2 The King and the Clown 왕의 남자 Lee Jun-ik 12,302,831 2005
3 Taegukgi 태극기 휘날리며 Kang Je-gyu 11,746,135 2004
4 Haeundae 해운대 Yun Je-gyun 11,083,000 2009
5 Silmido 실미도 Kang Woo-suk 11,081,000 2003
6 D-War 디 워 Shim Hyung-rae 8,426,973 2007
7 Speedy Scandal 과속 스캔들 Kang Hyung-Cheol 8,217,648 2008
8 Friend 친구 Kwak Kyung-taek 8,134,500 2001
9 Welcome to Dongmakgol 웰컴 투 동막골 Park Kwang-hyun 8,008,622 2005
10 May 18 화려한 휴가 Kim Ji-hun 7,307,993 2007
11 Take Off 국가대표 Kim Yong-hwa 7,000,000 2009
12 Tazza: The High Rollers 타짜 Choi Dong-hun 6,847,777 2006
13 The Good, the Bad, the Weird 좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈 Kim Jee-woon 6,686,101 2008
14 200 Pounds Beauty 미녀는 괴로워 Kim Yong-hwa 6,619,498 2006
15 Shiri 쉬리 Kang Je-gyu 6,210,000 1999
16 My Boss, My Teacher 투사부일체 Kim Dong-won 6,105,431 2006
17 Joint Security Area 공동경비구역 JSA Park Chan-wook 5,830,000 2000
18 Marrying the Mafia II 가문의 위기 Jeong Yong-ki 5,635,266 2005
19 Memories of Murder 살인의 추억 Bong Joon-ho 5,255,376 2003
20 My Wife is a Gangster 조폭 마누라 Jeong Heung-sun 5,180,900 2001
21 Marathon 말아톤 Jeong Yoon-chul 5,148,022 2005
22 The Chaser 추격자 Na Hong-jin 5,071,619 2008
23 Marrying the Mafia 가문의 영광 Jeong Heung-sun 5,021,001 2002
24 My Tutor Friend 동갑내기 과외하기 Kim Kyeong-hyeong 4,937,573 2003
25 My Sassy Girl 엽기적인 그녀 Kwak Jae-yong 4,852,845 2001
26 Kick the Moon 신라의 달밤 Kim Sang-jin 4,353,800 2001
27 Public Enemy Returns 강철중: 공공의 적 1-1 Kang Woo-suk 4,300,670 2008
28 Typhoon 태풍 Kwak Kyung-taek 4,094,395 2005
29 The Way Home 집으로 Lee Jeong-hyang 4,091,000 2002
30 Sex Is Zero 색즉시공 Hun Je-gyun 4,082,797 2002
31 Forever the Moment 우리 생애 최고의 순간 Yim Soon-rye 4,044,582 2008
32 Another Public Enemy 공공의 적 2 Kang Woo-suk 3,911,356 2005
33 Hanbando 한반도 Kang Woo-suk 3,880,308 2006
34 Hi, Dharma 달마야 놀자 Park Cheol-kwan 3,746,000 2001
35 A Frozen Flower 쌍화점 Yu Ha 3,738,081 2008
36 The Divine Weapon 신기전 Kim Yoo-jin 3,726,134 2008
37 Sympathy for Lady Vengeance 친절한 금자씨 Park Chan-wook 3,650,000 2005
38 Untold Scandal 스캔들 - 조선남녀상열지사 E J-yong 3,522,747 2003
39 Marrying the Mafia III 가문의 부활 Jeong Yong-ki 3,464,516 2006
40 My Boss, My Hero 두사부일체 Yun Je-gyun 3,302,000 2001
41 Oldboy 올드보이 Park Chan-wook 3,269,000 2003
42 My Little Bride 어린 신부 Kim Ho-joon 3,149,500 2004
43 Oh! Brothers 오! 브라더스 Kim Yong-hwa 3,148,748 2003
44 A Tale of Two Sisters 장화, 홍련 Kim Ji-woon 3,146,217 2003
45 Voice of a Murderer 그놈 목소리 Park Jin-pyo 3,143,247 2007
46 Maundy Thursday 우리들의 행복한 시간 Song Hae-sung 3,132,320 2006
47 Once Upon a Time in High School 말죽거리 잔혹사 Yu Ha 3,115,767 2004
48 Jail Breakers 광복절 특사 Kim Sang-jin 3,101,900 2002
49 Mapado 마파도 Chu Chang-min 3,090,467 2005
50 You Are My Sunshine 너는 내 운명 Park Jin-pyo 3,051,134 2005
51 Le Grand Chef 식객 Jeon Yun-su 3,037,690 2007
52 Public Enemy 공공의 적 Kang Woo-suk 2,987,900 2002
53 Ghost House 귀신이 산다 Kim Sang-jin 2,890,000 2004
54 Once Upon a Time in a Battlefield 황산벌 Lee Jun-ik 2,771,236 2003

See also



  1. ^ "Future Korean Filmmakers Visit UCLA". Retrieved 2007-11-18.  
  2. ^ a b Kim, So-young. "Korean Film History and 'Chihwaseon'" (PDF). Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2008-02-17.  
  3. ^ James, David E.; Kyung Hyun Kim (editors) (2002). Im Kwon-Taek: The Making of a Korean National Cinema. Wayne State University Press. pp. 267. ISBN 0-8143-2869-5.  
  4. ^ Berry, Chris (December 18, 1998). "Recovering the past: rare films screened in Korea". LA Trobe University. Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  5. ^ James, David E.; Kyung-hyun Kim (editors) (2002). Im Kwon-Taek: The Making of a Korean National Cinema. Wayne State University Press. pp. 267. ISBN 0-8143-2869-5.  
  6. ^ Wade, James (1983). "The Cinema in Korea: A Robust Invalid". Korean Dance, Theater & Cinema. Seoul: Si-sa-yong-o-sa Publishers. pp. 176. ISBN 0-892090-17-0.  
  7. ^ Paquet, Darcy. "A Short History of Korean Film". Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  8. ^ Lee, Young-Il. "The Establishment of a National Cinema Under Colonialism: The History of Early Korean Cinema". LA Trobe University. Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  9. ^ Wade, p.176-177.
  10. ^ Maliangkay, Roald H. (2005). "Classifying Performances: The Art of Korean Film Narrators". Image & Narrative. Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  11. ^ Lee, Young-il (1988). The History of Korean Cinema. Motion Picture Promotion Corporation. ISBN 89-88095-12-X.  
  12. ^ Hun Shim at the Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Lee, Young-il (1988). The History of Korean Cinema. Motion Picture Promotion Corporation. pp. 57–59. ISBN 89-88095-12-X.  
  14. ^ Min, Eungjun; Joo Jinsook and Kwak HanJu (2003). Korean Film : History, Resistance, and Democratic Imagination. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. pp. 11. ISBN 0-275-95811-6.  
  15. ^ "The story of Chun-hyang (Chunhyangjeon )". The Korean Film Archive (KOFA). Retrieved 2007-05-04.  
  16. ^ Wade, p.177.
  17. ^ Min, p.46.
  18. ^ Min, p.48-49.
  19. ^ Marshall, Jon. "A Brief History of Korean Film". Retrieved 2008-01-25.  
  20. ^ Kai Hong, "Korea (South)", International Film Guide 1981, p.214. quoted in Armes, Roy (1987). "East and Southeast Asia". Third World Film Making and the West. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 156. ISBN 0-520-05690-6.  
  21. ^ Min, p.51-52.
  22. ^ Maliangkay, Roald H. (2005). "A Review of Im Kwon-Taek: The Making of a Korean National Cinema". Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  23. ^ Korean Review. Pyongyang, North Korea: Foreign Languages Publishing House. 1974. pp. 119.  
  24. ^ a b Gluckman, Ron (September 1992). "Cinema Stupido". Asiaweek. Retrieved 2008-03-01.  
  25. ^ Barron, Brian (September 5, 2001). "West snubs North Korea movies". Retrieved 2008-03-15.  
  26. ^ Schönherr, Johannes (2007). "14. A Permanent State of War: A Short History of North Korean Cinema". in Matthew Edwards. Film Out of Bounds; Essays and Interviews on Non-Mainstream Cinema Worldwide. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.. pp. 141–143. ISBN 978-0-7864-2970-7.  
  27. ^ a b Schönherr, p.145.
  28. ^ Portal, Jane (2005). Art Under Control in North Korea. London: Reaktion Books, Ltd.. pp. 130–131. ISBN 1-86189-236-5.  
  29. ^ Lee, Wha-rang (2004). "Film Review: The Unsung Heroes". Korea Web Weekly. Retrieved 2007-06-18.  

Pre-Divided Korea & South Korea

  • Bowyer, Justin (2004). 24 Frames: The Cinema of Japan and Korea. London: Wallflower Press. ISBN 1-904764-11-8.  
  • Han, Man-yong (1983). Korean Dance Theater and Cinema. Si Sa Yong O Sa Pub. ISBN 0-89209-017-0.  
  • Lee, Young-il (1988). The History of Korean Cinema. Motion Picture Promotion Corporation. ISBN 89-88095-12-X.  
  • Leong, Anthony (2003). Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong. Black Dot Publications. ISBN 1-55395-461-0.  
  • Maliangkay, Roald H. (2005). "Classifying Performances: The Art of Korean Film Narrators". Image & Narrative. Retrieved 2008-03-13.  
  • McHugh, Kathleen; Albermann, Nancy (2005). South Korean Golden Age Melodrama: Gender, Genre, And National Cinema (Contemporary Approaches to Film and Television). Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3253-6.  
  • Min, Eungjun; Joo Jinsook and Kwak HanJu (2003). Korean Film : History, Resistance, and Democratic Imagination. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-95811-6.  
  • Pok Hwan-mo On Korean Documentary Film
  • Wade, James (1983). "The Cinema in Korea: A Robust Invalid". Korean Dance, Theater & Cinema. Seoul: Si-sa-yong-o-sa Publishers. ISBN 0-892090-17-0.  

North Korea

External links

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