The new Asian Hollywood
Hollywood, of late, seems to have lost much of its inspiration and charm, clogging cinemas with derivative and dull films. Many cinephiles looking for an original movie-going fix have turned to foreign films as an alternative source of entertainment.
Surprisingly, one of the most dynamic and exciting emerging producers of films is not France or Britain but Korea (that’s South Korea, not North Korea, even though the “Dear Leader” is allegedly an award-winning filmmaker).
Korean cinema has captured the American cultural zeitgeist over the past few years, starting with Park Chan-wook’s 2003 revenge thriller Oldboy. Since then, audiences have become much more receptive and enthusiastic toward works from the Korean peninsula.
In response to the new cultural phenomenon, the Smithsonian started the D.C. Korean Film Festival in 2004. This year’s iteration is in progress at both the AFI Silver Theater and the Meyer Auditorium of the Freer Gallery of Art.