Indiana University’s Institute for Korean Studies presented three films from one of South Korea’s most interesting and successful commercial film directors, Ryoo Seung-wan. Influenced by Hong Kong action films from the 1970s, his thrilling films feature fast-paced plots and well-choreographed action scenes. His 2015 film, Veteran, sold more than 13 million tickets and is the fourth all-time highest-grossing film in Korean cinema history. Notable for bringing attention to pertinent social issues such as corruption and social inequality, Ryoo Seung-wan is a central figure in the thriving Korean film industry, attracting South Korea’s best actors for his films.
The screenings of Veteran, City of Violence, and Battleship Island at IU cinema were introduced by a panel of film experts led by IU alumnus, Darcy Paquet, one of South Korea’s most prominent film critics and the creator of the website koreanfilm.org. Paquet has lived in Korea since 1997 and teaches classes on cinema at Kyung Hee University and Korea University, as well as doing freelance subtitle and screenplay translation and radio and television work. In addition to his film criticism and scholarship, he has written extensively on the Korean film industry with pieces featured in Screen, Variety, and the Korean film weekly Cine 21.
The panel also included Prof. Kyu Hyun Kim of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Molly Kim of Han Yang University in Seoul. Director Ryoo was unable to be present in person, but he joined the discussion by teleconferencing.
After showing Ryoo’s films in Bloomington, IKS brought Darcy Paquet and Molly Kim to introduce screenings of Ryoo’s films at the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Director Ryoo also joined the screening at UIUC by teleconference.
This series was jointly sponsored by the Institute for Korean Studies and IU Cinema.