Now in its 11th year, the Florence festival of South Korean film returns to the Odeon Theatre from March 15 to 24.
This year, the focus is on the K-Eros genre. The films in this retrospective on eroticism demonstrate the enormous changes Korea has experienced in recent years, showing the ‘obsessions and taboos of a society suspended between ancient rituals and thrust towards modernization,’ often through disturbing stories of victims and perpetrators, seduction and violence, in a world that is transforming around them. Films normally unavailable in Italy will be screened as part of this exploration of historical perspective and contemporary style and vision.
Among the 35 features films and 20 shorts is one of the most famous films in Korea, Lies (1999), by Jang Sun-Woo, about a sadomasochistic relationship between an adult man and a young girl. Other titles include Concubine (2012), by Kim Dae-sun; B.E.D. (2012), by Park Chul-Soo; Between the Knees (1984), by Lee Jang-Ho; and Five Senses of Eros (2009), by Daniel H. Byun. The festival also pays homage to acclaimed actress Jeon Do-Yeon, famous as the first Korean to win the best actress award at Cannes (in 2007, for Secret Sunshine by Lee Chang Dong) and for her work in 15 films for Korean cinema, several TV series and various theatre productions. Do-Yeon is soon to star in the first Korean film to be completely set in Italy and shot in Florence. As a special guest of the festival, she will receive an award, and eight of her most important films will be shown. Next is the independent film section, featuring movies by young filmmakers who get little or no attention in Korea, as well as a new section dedicated to animated film. There will also be a series of collateral events around the city, including Taekwondo and Korean sword demonstrations in piazza della Repubblica (March 17, 4-6pm) and the Korea Sculpture Festival in Fiesole’s piazza Mino (March 16 to April 12).
The Korea Film Fest is organized by the Taegukgi-Tuscan Korea Association with founder/director Riccardo Gelli Do-Yeon, with support from the Tuscan Region, Fondazione Sistema Toscana, the Province of Florence, the City of Florence, the City of Fiesole, the Korean Film Council, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Republic of South Korea and of the Embassy of the Korean Republic in Italy.
For more information on the festival, see http://tinyurl.com/afyfrr8.