Cinema Beyond Melodrama: Lee Chang-dong and Divine Justice

Colloquium: Center for Korean Studies | April 13 | 4 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Steve Choe, San Francisco State University

 Jinsoo An, UC Berkeley

 Center for Korean Studies (CKS)

According to scholars, no other genre or mode of film making has dominated Korean film production more than the melodrama. It is key for understanding the appeal of the films produced by Korea’s culture industry and the popularity of K-pop culture throughout Asia and the world. This presentation discusses two films by Lee Chang-dong, Secret Sunshine (2007) and Poetry (2010), to show how they attempt to think the concept of justice beyond the ethical and metaphysical principles proposed by the melodramatic mode in narrative cinema. By taking this cinema to the limit, these films propose new ways of critically representing and reconciling with loss, the other, and the politics of blame.

About Steve Choe

Professor Choe is Associate Professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University. Previously he taught at the University of Iowa. His areas of research and teaching include film theory, philosophy, and the cinema of Germany and Korea. He is also a member of the research cluster on Violence, Trauma, and Health.

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