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Taking movies to the west

2017-December-25       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

South Korean cinematic icon Kim Ki-duk's appearance in Beijing on Tuesday was probably an icebreaking trip for the two countries' cultural circles

I Can Speak (left) and The Day After are two South Korean entries at the Asian Brilliant Stars section of Berlin film festival.

Kim's films are known for caring about the plight of people at the grassroots.

"It's great to see so many different types of high-quality films that speak for Asia in the international arena, but the selection process is tough," he says.

Speaking of potential topics of coproduction within Asian countries, Kim says filmmakers should not always feel tied to heavy historical themes.

"It would be better to have in-depth thinking and explore common values facing the future," the director says.

Separately, the South Korean filmmaker believes that Chinese cinema has been successful at nurturing talent and creativity as well as growing the market. He also suggests young Chinese filmmakers stick to original ideas-be it in commercial movies or in art-house films.

Kim appears as someone who doesn't like to be put in a particular category despite his breakthroughs at major European film festivals. In his self-reviewing documentary film, Arirang (2011), he has a long monologue where he opposes being dubbed a "national hero".

"What I make are not really 'South Korean films', but they instead reflect my own style," the advocator of art-house says.

In recent years, South Korean films have seen fast growth at the industry level.

"Before I made those award-winning films, I never expected them to be popular among Western audiences," he says. "But it's good that they are interested in Asian culture, like Zen. Maybe that's why I won the awards."

His ideas are echoed by other members of the jury for the Asian Brilliant Stars section.

"From Dangal to Bad Genius, filmmakers didn't try to please the global market in the first place, though they turned out to be commercially successful worldwide," says Mandfred Wong, a Hong Kong filmmaker and former president of the Hong Kong Film Awards.

"A good filmmaker should focus on telling a good story," he says.

"If the story is attractive, its value will resonate with people in other countries, and it will travel around the world."


Editor: Xiaowen

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