South Korean Cinema: Finding Success in the Post-Cinematic Era

Korean Studies Seminar with Professor Kyung Hyun Kim, University of California at Irvine

Date: 8 May 2014
Time: 17:00-19:00
Venue: Room 24.4.01, Faculty of Humanities

Kyung Hyun KimAbstract

A little less than 10 years ago, South Korean film industry’s primary concern was no different from the rest of the world’s: the protection of its domestic films from Hollywood. It had hard time making films that would match Hollywood’s popularity. Strange things have happened however over the second decade of the new millennium; Korean cinema now boasts a moviegoing rate per capita that is best in the world (4.2 per capita), protects its domestic production with overwhelming majority of the audiences voluntarily choosing to watch local products over Hollywood’s, and has shot through the rank among the largest local box offices and exports in the world. Korean cinema impressed both its local fans and Hollywood producers interested in remakes and global talents by taking less than a decade to go from a perilous state to one of the sturdiest local film industries in the world. This talk probes the reason behind how South Korea registers the highest movie-going rate in the world, while defending the title of the most wired nation in the world in this 21st Century where it is widely perceived to be a post-cinema era.


Kyung Hyun Kim is Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Critical Theory Emphasis at the University of California, Irvine. He is the coeditor of The Korean Popular Culture Reader (2014) and the author of Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era (2011) and The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema (2004)—all published by Duke University Press. He has also co-produced both the restoration project of The Housemaid (dir. Kim Ki-young, 1960) and its remake that premiered at 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Free entry, all welcome.