[KS] Query: specialists in Korean cinema / Kim Soyoung, etc.

Walter K. Lew Lew at humnet.ucla.edu
Mon Nov 14 13:50:29 EST 2005

I'd like to add a few notes to Dr. Wegehaupt's justified praise for Kim 
Soyoung and reply to both Ken Robinson's and  Rick McBride's (skip to 
item 7. below)  inquiries.

1. None of Kim Soyoung's books have been translated into English, but 
she's published several essays in Anglophone journals or books (she is 
bilingual and very active as an international editor, film archivist, 
and festival curator).

Two of several  essays in English are:
"The Birth of the Local Feminist Sphere in the Global Era: 
'Trans-cinema' and /YOsOngjang/," /Inter-Asia Cultural Studies/, 4.1 
(April 2003) : 10-24.

"Questions of Woman's Film: /The Maid/, /Madame Freedom/, and Women," 
in /Post-Colonial Classics of Korean Cinema/, ed. Chungmoo Choi, pp. 
13-21. (This was published by the Dept. of E. Asian Languages and 
Literatures, University of California, Irvine as part of a film 
festival they held in 1998. One shd probably inquire to Prof. 
Kyung-hyun Kim, who teaches film there, as to how to procure a copy if 
any are still available. The lot was being sold off at a big discount a 
few years ago.)

I think I also saw a piece by her in one of the recent anthologies on 
Korean film, perhaps in /The Cinema of Japan and Korea/, 24 Frames 
Series (2004).

2. This Soyoung Kim or Kim Soyoung shd not be confused with the younger 
filmmaker Kim So-young whose films have been appearing in various 
festivals--see, for example, 
I saw an announcement once that pasted a photograph of the latter onto 
the description of a film or talk by the former.

3. Although her books have not been translated, the films that are on 
DVD have plenty of English subtitling and intertitling. They are aimed 
simultaneously at Korean and Anglophone viewers, e.g. the interview 
with  Prof. Earl Jackson, Jr. in her latest film, /New Woman: Her First 
Song/ (2004). (This film is largely an imaginative biography of the 
colonial-era author Na Hye-sOk.)

4. As far as I know, one of the journals that Dr. Wegehaupt mentions, 
/Trans: Journal of Visual Culture Studies/, was discontinued after its 
wonderful inaugural issue  (Spring 2000). It was published in Korean.

5. Soyoung was a pioneer not only in her feminist approaches to film, 
but for her introduction of other diverse theoretical paradigms as 
well, such as Frankfurt School analyses of popular culture. (The "blue 
flower in the land of technology" in one of her book titles, /Sinema, 
T'ek'Uno munhwa-Ui p'urUn kkot/ [YOlhwa-dang, 1998] is derived directly 
from Walter Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical 
Reproduction"--btw it has been pointed out by Prof. Robert Kaufman that 
a more accurate translation for the last two terms wd be "technical 

She was also a major factor in bringing international attention to such 
neglected directors of previous generations as Kim Ki-young (/HanyO/, 
/IOdo/,  etc.) and restoring critical respectability to many films of 
the late 1950s and early 60s.

6. Another role that she played during the 1990s was getting prominent 
film scholars, curators, and critics from other nations in both Asia 
and the West to include Korean films in festivals and to write about 
them, such as Chris Berry and Tony Rayns.

7. Prof. Jinhee Choi (Carleton U., Ottawa, Canada) has done a good 
amount of work on Korean film.

--Walter K. Lew
Dept. of English, Mills College

On Nov 14, 2005, at 9:00 AM, Koreanstudies-request at koreaweb.ws wrote:
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 09:55:10 +0900 (JST)
> From: robinson at icu.ac.jp
> Subject: Re: [KS] Querry: specialists in Korean cinema
> To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
> Message-ID: <1269. at webmax.icu.ac.jp>
> Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-2022-jp
> Dear Dr. Wegehaupt,
> Thank you for the list of publications by Kim Soyoung. I have since
> searched the Library of Congress, Barnes and Noble, NACSIS Webcat, and
> HOLLIS homepages for Kim Soyoung and the titles below. No hits emerged,
> though I no doubt missed them in my searches.
> If the books are in Korean, might you provide the romanized titles (and
> publishers, too)?  Thank you.
> Ken Robinson
>> Any discussion of Korean film study would be lacking without mention 
>> of
>> KIM Soyoung.  As the head of the Department of Cinema Studies in the
>> School of Film and Multimedia at the Korean National University of the
>> Arts, she stands out not only as a scholar providing challenging
>> theoretical analyses of Korean film but also as a successful film 
>> maker
>> and feminist activist in her own right.  Her impact extends also to 
>> the
>> numerous women she has instructed who are now working in various roles
>> (directors, producers) within the modern Korean film industry.
>> She serves as chief editor of Trans: Journal of Visual Culture 
>> Studies,
>> and editorial collective member for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and
>> Traces: A multilingual Journal of Cultural Theory and Translation.  
>> Her
>> books include Specters of Modernity: Fantastic Korean Cinema; Kim
>> Soyoung's Film Reviews; Cinema: Blue Flower in the Land of Technology.
>> She served as editor of Cine-Feminism: Reading popular Cinema.  Her
>> film works include Koryu: Southern Women and South Korea, along with
>> other short films made for a women filmmakers' collective.  Her recent
>> film project, Women's History Trilogy, is available with English
>> subtitles on DVD.
>> m. wegehaupt
>> u. michigan

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