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Fantastic Fest to Showcase Classic Korean Cinema

Aug 14, 2018
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
  • View1654
Rare Screenings of BAN GEUM-RYUN and QUIT YOUR LIFE in Austin



Fantastic Fest in Austin is set to return for its 14th edition next month and this year the Austin, Texas-based genre festival will feature a special Korean theme, as well as a section on classic Korean genre cinema.

The festival is set to feature the North American premiere of PARK Nou-sik’s classic revenge drama Quit Your Life (1971). A screen veteran of 900 films, PARK also takes on the lead role as a man who takes revenge on the people who caused the death of his friend in Manchuria during the Japanese Colonial Era.

Fantastic Fest will also feature KIM Ki-young’s rare masterpiece Ban Geum-ryun (1981), screening internationally for only the second time. A loose adaptation of a famous Chinese tale, the period film was an ambitious project for Director KIM that took him years to complete and several more as he battled with censors before eventually being granted a release. 

The festival’s poster this year sports a Korean design and in a press release, creative director Evrim Ersoy describes how this year, Fantastic Fest “turns its eye to South Korea and explores the Korean Quota Quickies, a period in the 1970s which saw filmmaking flourish despite stifling ideological censorship thanks to a quota system which required a strict number of local productions be made for each of the foreign films imported. Although most of these were rushed productions, clever directors used the system to their advantage to sneak strange and daring content past producers, directors, and censors.”

Also announced in the festival’s first wave was LEE Chang-dong’s critically-acclaimed new work BURNING. Based on a short story by MURAKAMI Haruki and featuring YOO Ah-in, Steven YEUN and new face JUN Jong-seo, the film debuted in the competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
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