On-Line; An Inside View of Korean Independent Film - Production Note :: 2004/06/07 11:00

Korean independent film grew its possibility under the dark days of 70s' military regime as a sort of culture movement, and put its first step with the formation of Seoul Film Collective 1982. Since then 15 years have passed. Not a long history it is. However there have been various situations and inde film has born plenty of difficulties. It's really a history! The independents rushed their way with little reflection. But a history without examining the loss and gain is meaningful only for recollection. In the situations that self-shift is required, we projected our work for the purpose that this documentary would be a help for drawing vision by examining the footprints of inde film including ourselves.

1996. 6. 14, the urgent arrest of Kim Dong-won, representative of Purn production, brought us to unexpected shooting, which was a start of work. While interviewing inde filmmakers and shooting this and that affairs, we uncovered and categorized various sources which included pamphlets, photos, books and so on. They resulted in the publication of a book of which the title is the same as our documentary. Such works helped us decide what to cast light on in directing this documentary. In addition, collecting the sources, we have found that so important materials are neglected and each inde filmmaker is not in accord even regarding the concept of 'independent film'. Paradoxically such a fact confirmed our intention in the beginning.

When we made public the project in a party, there were many attendants who were engaged in inde film at first or second hand, and they were all in our account of interview for work. They are the witnesses of inde film history who could give statements based on each peculiar experience and ground. But the history cannot be written according to each individual's memory. Still more, things which would comprise history was going on at the very moment when we were working. Conflicts between authorities and inde filmmakers on the matter of censorship, restriction of subject and oppressions which are all the obstacles to free creation of film.

They are history in present tense. Our concern therefore shifted from the past to the present. We'd shot ongoing affairs and interviewed them not about their memory but rather about their view with regard to condition of Korean inde film and circumstances around it. They were all questioned why they remained 'independent', what' their hope and despair and how they would go through so many difficulties. The work began in 1996 summer and came to an end in 1997 autumn. The materials amounted to about 200 tapes and 300 hours. It was a hard work to choose proper one for 70 min.'s film among so diverse opinions and so worthwhile scenes. We returned to the point we started the work. History is important, but what for? It is just for the present and the future, isn't it? We believe that the exact revelation of reality would imply the past more vividly and be really fruitful. We chose the subjective present rather than the objective past. 'An inside view' it would be. Our work has finished but the reality is repeating itself; Oppressions continue, conflicts ensue and naturally struggles last. We wish that On-Line could help improve this situation.
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On-Line; An Inside View of Korean Independent Film - Synopsis :: 2004/06/07 10:58

Produced by Seoul Visual Collective, one of the leading Korean independent film productions, is a penetrating look at Korean independent filmmaking today.

This documentary unfolds diverse voices and views within the independent filmmaking community, as it questions the past, the present and the future of Korean independent film. Are they happy when making films? How do they define independent film? Why do they still retain independent filmmaking today as things have been changed politically and aesthetically? what is their hope and despair? Incorporating archival footage and interviews into the director's own reflections, redefines Korean independent cinema which emerged as negation of status quo about twenty years ago and has continued its search for renewed gaze to the world. What the independent filmmakers have paid attention to is people's lives where various conflicts draw a front line.

On the front filmmaking is also a struggle, tears, sympathy and hope itself. viewing from unquestioning mind, the front can be a mere marginal place. However, from the very moment when resistance takes place in every life, it becomes a center of the world. What the filmmakers see is a new center already existing and ever-growing in the marginalized lives. As the documentary covers diverse filmmakers of different generations and areas, we see the beliefs and self-reflections of the independents, as well as an account of dilemmas that filmmakers face.

Kim Dong-won says that his life was entirely changed by making Sangkye-Dong Olympics, a documentary about evacuated homes because of Seoul Olympic Games. Sin Myung-wha looks at a distance with her wastery eyes, saying "I'm trying not to think of anything right now" when she faces the death of Mrs. Kang Duk-Kyung, former comfort woman during World War Ⅱ and collaborator on her documentary project. Lee Yong-Bae dreans to be forever with the spirit of 'Changsankot-mae', now dissolved filmmaking group. Nang Hee-Sub, one of the founding members of Independent Film Association, negates himself as not qualified for an interview. Kim Myung-Jun wishes to build good world where he can spend his life fishing. And there is Hong Hyung-Sook, the director of this documentary, observing them. is a critical look at a proud film community looking to build solidarity and new direction.

1997, digital & Betacam, 64 min

invited to 2nd Pusan Int'l Film Festival
invited to 10th Int'l Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
invited to 28th International Forum of Young Cinema in 48th Berlin Int'l Film Festival
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변방에서 중심으로 - 예고편 :: 2004/06/07 10:51

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